Posted by Kathy Petras | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-06-2009
Tags: Facebook, New Student Orientation
So, the class of 2013 started a facebook group. They have been having some great discussions including establishing a “party crew” (yes, we’ll be watching out for those kids) but it made me think that Facebook can actually be a useful tool for professionals in Student Affairs. Now I’m not suggesting that every staff member of a higher education institution should go out and join facebook, but I definitely suggest it for some. For those of you that are working close with the students, it can really be a beneficial tool.
In just reading through some of the discussion boards, it really helps you to put a finger and the new population of students about to enter your college or university. You can find out what they are excited about, what some of their fears are, etc. It’s a great place to get to know your students before you actually KNOW them. For most students transitioning to college their are a myriad of fears, anxieties, and questions that they want resolution too. A lot of that, at least at our institution, is resolved during the summer orientation sessions. We have students that come in scared and leave ridiculously excited to come back in the fall. Which is TOTALLY the goal you want to have achieved at the end of the day. However, utilizing facebook to get in touch with the new students before they arrive on campus is really an indispensable tool. So beyond just the ridiculousness (and sometimes not so great stuff) can and will take place through social network pages like Facebook & MySpace, in reality, when used correctly (like most forms of technology & social networking) there is a lot of good that can come from it.
For me, I just got a little bit of a better handle on what my new students are looking for. In fact, I emailed my staff and suggested they join. I think they can learn a lot from participating in the group as well.