Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Stumpf, Arthur D.

Committee Member

Brocato, D. Kay

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


Social media is reshaping the way college students communicate within their college community, and higher education has recently begun to embrace social media. The most frequently used social networking site is Facebook, and its usage has increased tremendously among college students, impacting the students both positively and negatively. The purpose of this research was to explore the perceptions of community college students regarding the use of social media and social networking sites and the effect of that use on learning, GPA, and graduation as well any differences in perceptions based on students demographic characteristics (i.e., age, gender, class status, race/ethnicity, and living situation). A 15-item survey was used to collect data from 87 students at one rural community college. The study found that most students use social media often, with their most common social media interaction partners being their close friends and family and the least being professors. In addition, 63.2% agreed that social networking sites were an effective tool for e-learning. Most students took a mixture of online and face-toace classes, preferred Facebook and Instagram, and felt social networking sites had become either less as important or only as important as they were last year. Other results showed that 51% agreed that social networking sites help them get educational materials, 39% agreed that social networking sites have supported their progress to graduate, 37% agreed that social networking sites have positively affected learning, and 32% agreed that social networking sites affected their GPA. The study found that Facebook was preferred by students who were 25 and older, Caucasian, and/or living with their spouse. Students who lived with parents used Instagram more than Facebook, and students who lived with their children took more online courses.



community college students||social media