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Columbia Missourian

MU College of Education joins students on Facebook

By Rachel Schallom
February 1, 2009 | 5:32 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — On Facebook, you can be a fan of the boy band of the month.

You can join an earth-friendly cause or follow a celebrity’s career.

And now, you can become a “fan” of the MU College of Education.

The college created the Facebook page about a year and a half ago to recruit and connect with students. The college has accumulated 173 fans to date on the site.   

It is the only MU school or college that has a Facebook page, although other MU organizations have Facebook pages, including the bookstore, Marching Mizzou, Mizzou After Dark, Sustain Mizzou and the Office of Greek Life. 

“It was part of our drive to embrace social media,” said John Steffens, the Internet administrator for the College of Education.
 "There needs to be some voice for the campus on this medium."       

Its current Facebook page displays photos, updates, events, videos, current articles and a discussion board.

The idea was generated to give education ambassadors a way to connect with potential or newly admitted students as they attempt to recruit more students to the program.

“We use it as an introductory platform,” Steffens said.

 It is a place where students can ask other students, especially the ambassadors for the college, questions they may have.

“The initial ambition for it was to be by students for students,” he said.

Ashley Crawford may not have had the chance to use the site in high school, but jumped on the idea.

“I think it would be helpful so (new students) could get some insight, especially if they were made aware of it at summer welcome,” said Crawford, 19.  

She said she would like to see student organizations and deadlines for phase applications, which are required to continue in the education program, added to the page.

Recent MU graduate Christine Golebiewski believes the network has value beyond student recruitment.

“I know some of my friends used it to find other people in their education classes and in the college of education in general, to talk about projects or just to connect socially,” said Golebiewski, who worked on the site as part of the College of Education staff.

While the college dips into a popular medium for its students, it is not used as a primary communication tool.

“We use it as (another) medium to reach students," Steffens said. "The only thing specific to Facebook is what the ambassadors put up themselves, such as pictures they may upload.”

Only special events coordinator Justin Roberts, Steffens and the Education Ambassadors have administrative access to the college's Facebook page.