Almost every college and university in Arkansas has a social networking presence. If the websites don’t have a link to Facebook, then they usually have an active Twitter account.
For some colleges in Arkansas, it’s been a long time coming.
Community colleges in Arkansas are viable and legitimate paths to employment and 4-year institutions. However, community colleges are also a sore thumb in the yearly reviews of the state’s overall retention and graduation rates. Explanations for low retention and graduation rates are typically tied to economics. (Students need jobs, babysitters, gas money, car insurance, etc.).
As yet, community colleges around the nation haven’t found ways to seduce students into staying and graduating. Many are lured away by employers and not even the threat of student loans and hanging debt can keep them in school.
Social networking is relatively new, particularly for community colleges in the state. It will be years before research think tanks can assess social media’s prominence and influence on students’ decision to stay in college and graduate.
For some, college graduation is a Facebook bragging right. After all, Facebook’s origins are rooted in ivy league undergraduate education.
Just as students use social networking to get ahead, colleges administators are doing the same. Check out the YOUTUBE video posted all over the nation by Benedictine press officials. The video gives the impression the university is a balanced, fair and forward thinking institution.
But just as some people’s Facebook page are a bit deceptive, be careful, your college or university’s online personality may be a lot more bullish and brusque than a video image or website makes the school out to be. Get on the phone, email schools and visit before you turn over that tuition!
Pulaski Tech, Arkansas State, UACCH and others are using their Facebook accounts to deliver information quickly to students. Information like whether a server is down, whether blackboard is up, if the library’s server is slow are all transmitted via Facebook and Twitter these days.
Being social media friendly is a huge selling point for recruiters, particularly since the 2015 college graduate is a student that has had access to social networking, emails, internet and cell phones all of his or her life.
Although it is very advisable to visit a campus before applying, the internet allows users to visit campuses anytime they websurf. The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has webcams live all year round on its website.
Smartphone apps are used by college admin to deliver acceptance and rejection letters, scholarship money, and information to resources available on campus.
Social media helps students feel connected and stay connected to their academic institutions and connect with classmates.
It took a while for college administrators in Arkansas to catch on, but social networking is one of the greatest benefits and assets to both colleges and students.
If your college or university isn’t online, ask why not. In persuading administrators to log on to Facebook for the good of students, emphasize the relevance of social media in the real world today as the strongest and most inexpensive marketing and recruiting campaign there is, as well as one of the best ways to share info outside of texting.