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Work in Progress: Using Social Media to Build and Grow an Engineering Community on a Small Campus

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Computers in Education Poster Session

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1707.1 - 22.1707.6



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Paper Authors


James Riddell Baker College, Flint

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James A. Riddell is Dean of Engineering and Technology at Baker College of Flint. He is a member of ASEE, ASME, SME (past chair), and SAE (past chair.)

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Anca L. Sala Baker College

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Anca L. Sala, Associate Professor, is Chair of the Engineering Department at Baker College. Dr. Sala coordinates several engineering and technology programs, teaches and develops engineering curriculum, and leads the ABET accreditation activities in the department. She is an active member of ASEE, ASME, and OSA.

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Tom Spendlove Baker College, Flint

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Work-in-Progress: Using Social Media to Build and Grow an Engineering Community on a Small CampusBuilding a strong community among undergraduate students, faculty, and program alumni is oneof the important factors determining the success of an undergraduate engineering program. Aspart of this community, maintaining a connection with program alumni is vital for assessing theachievement of the program educational objectives. Even with a small engineering program suchas our Mechanical Engineering program, establishing an engineering community can becomplicated due to factors such as the very diverse student population, and the lack of an alumniassociation in the school. Many of the students in our program work full time, and most are parttime students. The students go through the program as non-cohort groups, making informationdissemination more difficult. This paper focuses on the use of social media including Facebookand LinkedIn in creating and growing our engineering community. While Facebook is morepopular with the younger population of students, and used mostly for social type of activities anddiscussions, LinkedIn is the preponderant medium for program alumni, as well as more maturestudents who are in professional positions and desire to widen their networks. We are also usingthese media in combination with more traditional activities such as student chapters ofprofessional societies. The paper will discuss features and statistics, and draw initial conclusionson the effectiveness of the above media in growing our engineering community. Future plans andrecommendations will also be outlined.

Riddell, J., & Sala, A. L., & Spendlove, T. (2011, June), Work in Progress: Using Social Media to Build and Grow an Engineering Community on a Small Campus Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18428

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