We all know that Facebook is the ocean in which students swim (when they’re not in class or studying, of course). So it makes perfect sense that universities are increasingly diving into this pool as a way to engage prospective students.
The University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies has launched a Facebook page dedicated to inquiring students. Anyone can become a “fan” of the Kroc Institute (no “friend” requests required) and can learn about Kroc people, academic programs and news.
For a program like Kroc’s, which draws students from around the world, a strong virtual connection is especially important, says Jaleh Dashti-Gibson, director of academic programs.
“Our master’s program has included students from 90 countries, and the vast majority of them learn about us online,” she said. “In addition to its enormous following in the U.S., Facebook has a growing international presence, so this is a way to reach students right where they are.”
Prospective and current Notre Dame undergraduates also will use the Facebook page as they assess their choice of peace studies as a major or minor, Dashti-Gibson predicts. After consulting with undergraduate peace studies students, Kroc communications staff members created the page to reflect the things students said really mattered, such as knowing their professors. Links to faculty profiles and a community of faculty and alumni “fans” will give students a sense of the people behind the program.
Other imperatives for the page included: lots of photos (Facebook is the No. 1 photo-sharing site on the Web), links to substantive pages on Kroc’s Web site at http://kroc.nd.edu (especially those designed for prospective students), and frequent updates to news and events listings. Kroc staff will monitor and respond to comments and questions on the Facebook “wall.”
For more information, or to become a fan, search for the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies on facebook.com using the “pages” tab.
Contact: Renée LaReau, Web and multimedia specialist, Kroc Institute, 574-631-5098, firstname.lastname@example.org.