CCC is not the only college making
inroads on the social media landscape.
Heartland Community College (HCC)
in Normal, Ill., has managed, despite a
tough budget climate, to take small steps
in this direction.
Colleen Reynolds, HCC’s associate
director of alumni relations and outreach, launched a Facebook page to
invite alumni to events. “It’s a way to
drive alumni to our Web site,” she says,
adding that some 350 alumni are
registered on HCC’s Facebook site.
At McHenry County College in Crystal
Lake, Ill., administrators are also exploring the alumni-social media connection.
The college has an alumni page on its
Web site, featuring online resources,
career connections, class notes, events
and activities, foundation information,
and news. “We are working on building
a database using alumni e-mail data, and
we are going to include alumni who may
have only 12 to 15 credits,” explains Development Coordinator Kathleen Pfister.
Pfister says the campaign reaches out
to alumni other than graduates because
the college wants to also recognize
students who attend for short-term
goals. “These students can still have
an affinity for the college even though
they attended only for a short time,”
Similar outreach efforts are under way
in California, one of the states hardest
hit by the recent budget crunch. “We
are painfully aware as a system of the
enormous opportunity we have yet to
tap into our alumni,” says Shiloh
London, executive director of the
Network of California Community
College Foundations (NCCCF). The
NCCCF in partnership with the
Foundation for California Community
Colleges (FCCC) last year launched the
first-ever statewide community college
alumni magazine, Affinity, and a corresponding Web site.
“We have 2. 5 million students in our
community college system that we can
engage now and millions more alumni,
which represent an enormous opportu-
nity for fundraising,” says London.
Tom Halligan is the former editor of
Community College Journal.
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