Faculty Publication Highlights

Technology and Engagement: Making Technology Work for First-Generation College Students

by Heather T. Rowan-Kenyon & Ana M. Martínez Alemán & Mandy Savitz-Romer, PhD

Recipient of the 2018 Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) book award.

Technology and Engagement is based on a four-year study of how first generation college students use social media, aimed at improving their transition to and engagement with their university. Through web technology, including social media sites, students were better able to maintain close ties with family and friends from home, as well as engage more with social and academic programs at their university. This 'ecology of transition' was important in keeping the students focused on why they were in college, and helped them become more integrated into the university setting. By showing the gains in campus capital these first-generation college students obtained through social media, the authors offer concrete suggestions for how other universities and college-retention programs can utilize the findings to increase their own retention of first-generation college students.

the book cover

Heather T. Rowan-Kenyon
Associate Professor, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

Ana M. Martínez Alemán
Professor; Associate Dean, Faculty & Academic Affairs, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

Mandy Savitz-Romer, PhD
Nancy Pforzheimer Aronson Senior Lecturer in Human Development and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

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