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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

The Use of Social Media for Navigating the Transitions Into and Through the First Year of College


Author(s): Vaccaro, A., Adams, S. K., Kisler, T. S., & Newman, B. M.

Citation: Vaccaro, A., Adams, S. K., Kisler, T. S., & Newman, B. M. (2015). The Use of Social Media for Navigating the Transitions Into and Through the First Year of College. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 27(2), 29-48.

 

Abstract

Although the use of technology is at an all-time high among college students, research about how social media facilitates the transition to college is limited. This paper presents findings from two qualitative studies about the role of social media in fostering a sense of belonging. Narratives from 66 students offer insight into the distinct functions of social media as participants attempted to develop a sense of belonging during their transition into and through their first year of college. They differentiated the use of social media as instrumental and relationship resources prior to and after campus arrival. Implications are provided for higher education professionals as they consider how to maximize belonging in first-year students with the use of social media.

 

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