Great Social Media Idea: Meet the Class of 2014

Pretty spiffy idea here from George Fox University, my neighbors down in the lovely town of Newberg, Oregon. (It's way better than Oldberg. Trust me.)

In a project that clearly took a lot of effort, George Fox created a cool page on its website that features a few dozen graduates from the class of 2014, each one with a nice photo and an in-depth Q&A. It's pretty fun and inspiring to see all the bright, smiling faces of the recent alumni and to read about their experiences at George Fox and what they are up to after graduation.

Content like this is great because it's so versatile. While I'm sure it was not easy to get so many students to respond to the Q&A's (getting a student to respond to an email is pretty much the equivalent of finding a $20 bill in a jacket pocket: wonderful and so unexpected when it happens!), now they have a treasure-trove of good stuff that can be used from social media to admissions to fundraising.

Outcomes are a big, big deal for colleges these days. With ever-increasing tuition and student loans, a stubbornly weak job market for young people, and the looming threat of MOOCs and online learning, it's crucial for colleges to be able to show their value - both in economic terms and in terms of personal growth and maturation. And who better to tell the value of their college experience that people who just graduated? (Particularly when their story is accompanied by a well-lit and fresh-faced photo!)

We're all going to have to start thinking a lot more about ways to prove the purpose and worth of a college education these days... something that has been taken for granted for decades in the higher ed world. So thanks, George Fox, for this fun example of one way to go about doing it!

The Week in Links

Music at Midweek: Jesus and Mary Chain