Graduates should be able to use various forms of technology in their interactions with students and in their own professional development. Specifically, students should be able to:
- utilize communication tools such as electronic mail, video conferencing, and/or designing web pages;
- use research tools such as electronic data bases, world wide web searching, and other on-line sources;
- use multi-media in making presentations before professional audiences.
As the sole proprietor of social networking for the Admission Office at the University of La Verne, I am constantly looking for new ways to catch and captivate prospective students. Millenial students want to constantly be connected and are technology savvy (Coomes, D. and DeBard, R., 2004) – and colleges need to stay up to date with such technology to communicate and engage this generation. Not only do I and several students keep Facebook, Twitter and MySpace up to date, but we have also had the opportunity to test out several other sources of technology.
In January, after being in communication for several months, we were selected by YoUniversityTV to have a virtual tour filmed for the institution. I set up faculty and student interviews along with mock classrooms to be filmed for the tour. A month later we had a five-minute campus tour up on our Web site and YoUniversityTV’s Web site. The virtual tour’s primary purpose is to allow those students who are unable to visit our campus, to take quick look at the beauty of the campus, hear from current students and faculty and get taste of what the University has to offer. We have included a link to this video on our homepage and have sent e-mail blasts to prospective students, applicants and admitted students with individual messages.
Managing Undergraduate Admission’s Web Site
It has been a privilege to have full control over the University of La Verne’s Undergraduate Admission Web site. A recent total-revamp of the University Web site has allowed individual departments to manage their own Web pages using a content management system. With this tool, I am able to easily update and design our pages within certain set parameters. I have added icons for Facebook, MySpace and Twitter pages, created icons for event calendars, managed the event calendars and constantly update text. In addition, I recently created a private Web site for the admitted student for fall 2010. The page is password-protected and provides the students with guidelines and assistance in the next steps of becoming an enrolled student. This page also connects to an additional Web site for an admitted student weekend in April. This site includes all needed information the weekend including liability waivers, RSVP form and a blog where students have the chance to interact with each other prior to attending.
Admission and Student Blogs
For the past few months two of the student interns in my office and I, have been researching the trend of blogging. In a recent Webinar I attended for social networking, Butler University’s blogging contributed to 40% of activity on their Web site. With this statistic in mind, we are hopeful in getting blogs to be a popular way for prospective students to become engaged and connected with our current students and counseling staff (Schlossberg, 1995). It is also a way for those students who may be timid to directly contact admission officials to communicate with us (Edberhardt, 2007). I am currently in the process of setting up several blogs. The first blog is a set of “current student” blogs. A student intern and I have created an application that will be sent out to students who are interested in becoming bloggers. We would like three students to begin and who will be able to captivate and keep a following of prospective students until the end of the academic year. If we are pleased with the outcome, we will sign the students back on to continue and possibly hire additional student bloggers. The second blog will be the official Admission Office Blog. Here, admission representatives will take turns posting on the blog important admission deadlines and information. This blog will also be home to guest bloggers including Financial Aid, Athletics and even the University President.