Getting Connected: A Social Media Project

Cecilia Rios-Aguilar and Regina Deil-Amen
League Book

Beginning in fall 2011, as part of a three-year Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant-funded intervention, nine urban, small town, and rural U.S. community colleges were selected to adopt a Facebook-based application, known as Schools App, for limited use by invited students, staff, faculty, and administrators. 

This report on the Getting Connected Project provides an overview of this research, which was the first longitudinal research study to use real-time data generated by the users of Schools App to examine how commuter-based community colleges attempt to use social media technology as a mechanism to increase students’ connection to and success in college. The purpose of this research project was to answer the following questions: 

  • What is the relationship between the use of the app and students’ success outcomes?
  • In what ways do students feel they belong to college and try to interact to create community?
  • In what ways do students feel connected to/integrated into college?
  • In what ways do students strategize success?