The success of UC Denver in encouraging the growth of clubs that offer experience to students should not be measured by the mere presence of such clubs; rather, it should be measured by how many students are aware of the same clubs, and are willing to participate in the activities therein.
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Clubs are some of the main platforms that UC Denver can use to provide support to domestic and international students. (De Sousa 3) identifies clubs as avenues through which a university can provide the personal and social support needed by all students, but most especially, by first-year students.
To enhance student’s participation in such clubs however, the university will need create awareness about their benefits among students.
But how can UC Denver popularize the clubs to students? Well, one of the viable ways is by marketing the clubs through LinkedIn and Facebook pages, and the university newsletter. Prior and after joining UC Denver, most students visit the abovementioned social networking sites. As such, marketing the clubs on such platforms would no doubt create the necessary awareness in the student population.
In a research done by (Barnes and Lescault n.pag.), it was discovered that the average university student has a Facebook profile, a LinkedIn account, and a Twitter account. In the research, (Barnes and Lescault n.pag.) found out that Facebook has the highest usage rates by students across American universities.
Based on such results, UC Denver needs to consider Facebook marketing platform that should be prioritized for use in making different clubs popular and acceptable among students. Universities which responded in the survey conducted by Barnes and Lescault stated that they had a 95% success rate in the use of Facebook to interact with students, while the YouTube registered a 92% success rate when used as an interactive tool.
The main reason the two aforementioned mediums registered high success rates was because in addition to marketing specific activities, they are highly interactive (Barnes and Lescault n.pag.).
Students who did not understand some of the things communicated by the administration, could ask questions, post opinions, and get feedback on the same. Similarly, UC Denver needs to not only market clubs using the social network sites, but must also enhance interaction through the same.
Empowering and supporting marketing efforts by individual clubs is also another method that UC Denver should consider for networking purposes. Notably, different clubs have unique messages targeting distinct audiences. Accordingly, it would not make sense for all the messages championed by different clubs in the university to be bundled up in one social platform.
Specifically, UC Denver is more likely to succeed in popularizing different clubs among students if each club had its own social media account. Additionally, there is a probability that not every club would have a person with the communication skills needed to run a successful social media account.
For purposes of enhancing effective communication and marketing by individual clubs, UC Denver would need to train individuals who will be charged with the administration duties of social networking sites across different clubs. Another viable approach that UC Denver can use is by holding brainstorming sessions with club leaders, where ways of increasing student participation in clubs could be discussed.
While UC Denver’s main priority is fostering an environment where learning takes place, it is also important for the University’s administration to understand that enhancing the principles of diversity and inclusiveness plays an important role in supporting learning. A university that fails to offer the necessary support mechanism towards aiding international students overcome culture shock may arguably be failing in its mandate.
With the foregoing in mind, UC Denver should ensure that its clubs are well equipped to provide such students with the necessary social support. Additionally, it must ensure that clubs reach out to students who may benefit from their activities. By so doing, the University would be providing the much needed social support systems for students who are experiencing transitional problems in the university.
In conclusion, UC Denver needs to consider informing the staff at UCD Student and Community Counseling Center about the various clubs that the University has. The staff at the counseling center would be in a position to recommend any club that can help students overcome the social and mental challenges they may be facing.
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Notably, counseling service providers are uniquely positioned to provide students with information related to health and well-being, academic, and social activities (Iyer and Baxter-Macgregor 6).
By positioning the staff at the counseling center to be champions of some of the beneficial aspects of club-involvement, the university would have succeeded in meeting its responsibility towards ensuring that students receive the support they need to succeed.
Clubs are ideal for the provision of such support, since they not only enhance a student’s mental resilience, they also provide platforms where students can exchange experiences, bond with others, and get the support needed to overcome some of the social, cultural or education-related challenges they may be facing.
Barnes, Nora, and Ava M. Lescault. “Social Media Adoption Soars as Higher-Ed Experiments and Reevaluates Its Use of New Communication Tools.” UMass Dartmouth. 2012. Web.
De Sousa, Jason D. “Promoting Student Success: What Advisors Can Do.” Occasional Paper no. 11. 1 Sept. 2005. Web.
Iyer, Nithya, and Julia Baxter-Macgregor. “Ethical Dilemmas for School counselor: balancing Student Confidentiality and Parents’ Right to Know.” NERA Conference Proceedings 15 (2006): 1-13.