Connecting to generation.com—the challenge facing university student unions
Nicholas W. Wendell, South Dakota State University, United States
Master of Science, South Dakota State University . Awarded
This document considers one of the key challenges facing student unions on college campuses—communication. As the field of higher education moves through the first decade of the 2151 century, students and their communication habits continue to evolve. To evaluate how well some universities are meeting the challenge, the Web sites from student unions at four comparable institutions are examined. South Dakota State University (SDSU) is among those universities, as are two of SDSU's peer institutions and an additional regional university (SDSU Strategic Plan, 2006).
The evaluation of the student union Web sites of the four aforementioned schools is done through the lens of Nancy Schlossberg's Transition Theory (Schlossberg, 1981) and well established principles of communication. As information-gathering habits evolve, all components of a university's online presence become primary tools in communication and brand building. At the four evaluated universities, the student union plays an important role in the efforts designed to welcome first-year students. Each union houses retention initiatives that focus on first-year students making the transition to college.
Connecting important institutional stakeholders through online communication is essential; ensuring that frontline departments do so effectively may impact student recruitment, retention and persistence to graduation.
Wendell, N.W. Connecting to generation.com—the challenge facing university student unions. Master of Science thesis, South Dakota State University.
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