Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Thesis Director

Jon K. Coleman

Thesis Committee Member

N/A

Thesis Committee Member

Kelly P. Miller

Abstract

This study is a quantitative exploration of student use of their university's social media accounts at a mid-sized Midwestern institution. The survey was conducted via Qualtrics and was emailed to all undergraduate on-campus students. T-tests showed that differences in reason for use existed across gender, race, and first-generation status. Chi Square test results showed a statistically significant gap between the amount of White and non-White students following institutional social media accounts. Descriptive statistics also indicated that lack of awareness is the driving reason students do not follow institutional social media accounts. Recommendations were made to increase advertisement of social media accounts, increase presence on Snapchat, prioritize information sharing posts, and focus on engaging minoritized races on campus. Suggestions for future research include replication, researching students at different stages in the recruitment process, and further researching connecting with diverse students via social media.

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