DePaul Quad Brings the Social Media Revolution to College Parents
With classes in full swing on college campuses, many parents of college students are now struggling to stay connected to their sons or daughters' lives without barraging them with phone calls, text messages or e-mails. At DePaul University, nearly 2,000 parents are doing so through new social media tools.
(Media-Newswire.com) - With classes in full swing on college campuses, many parents of college students are now struggling to stay connected to their sons or daughters’ lives without barraging them with phone calls, text messages or e-mails. At DePaul University, nearly 2,000 parents are doing so through new social media tools.
DePaul recently expanded a concept that was long the domain of students – social networking sites – and retooled it into a comprehensive online community for parents with students in college. The site, DePaul Quad, was so popular in a test run with parents of incoming freshman last year that parents of all undergraduate students were invited to join this month.
Parents of DePaul students connect with one another through the Quad, via discussion forums, personal profiles, live chat sessions, photo albums and parent-authored blogs. Parents discuss and debate all aspects of campus life, from academic course requirements to the use of Chicago’s rapid transit system, which links the university’s Lincoln Park and Loop campuses.
While other universities have created initiatives to provide an outlet for parents who are increasingly involved in their students’ lives on campus, DePaul is believed to be the first university to create an online space dedicated to parents and their unique needs. A typical visit to DePaul Quad can involve everything from participating in a live question-and-answer session with a financial aid officer, to discussing plans for family weekend, to making connections with other DePaul parents from the same state, region or hometown. Recently, a long conversation was devoted to advice from parents about helping first-year students adjust to a new roommate.
“I love the Quad,” said Barb Johnstone, who is the parent of a sophomore at DePaul. “The live chat sessions are informative as are the discussion boards. And any question that doesn’t get answered in those forums can be posted to the Quad’s ‘Ask DePaul’ section, so all bases are covered in terms of keeping parents informed about campus life.”
The site features topics and areas geared specifically toward parents of freshmen, but there are also plenty of other informational resources that apply to all students, including internships, study abroad programs, housing, academic success and new multimedia capabilities. In an effort to foster more parent-generated content, a parent blog was recently added to the site that will feature a different guest blogger each quarter and a different perspective each week.
“Studies show that more than 70 percent of parents are very active in their student’s college search process. Roughly half of them want new technology to access information about their student’s college, so the Quad addresses the important role parents play in their students’ selection of a college and their lives once they arrive on campus,” said Dara Crowfoot, director of marketing strategy at DePaul, citing statistics from a survey by higher education consulting firm Noel-Levitz. “One of the goals of this community is to provide parents with resources to connect with one another to get the most out of their educational experience at DePaul.”
This story was released on 2008-10-01. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for additional information.