Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

The Top 20 Universities On Social Media (And One Very Angry Snub)

It started innocently enough — with a USA Today College article, and a question on Twitter:

On the list:  Two Indiana universities, Butler and Notre Dame.  Writers credited the schools’ athletic programs as a primary driver of engagement with social media.

Not on the list:  Boston University.  That set the Terriers barking — and within minutes, the backpedaling began:

@USATODAYCollege tweeted soon thereafter — after a series of profuse apologies — it would post a revised list of top universities on social media, along with discussion of their methodology. (As of this writing, it hasn’t yet)

Regardless of whether BU belongs on the list, the dust-up speaks to the largely-untapped potential for colleges to engage with students through new-media.  Tech experts have argued that connecting professors and students through social media could be a key to increasing graduation rates.

Their (original, now apparently-defunct) list:

  • Notre Dame
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Texas
  • Baylor University
  • Butler University
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Harvard
  • Ithaca College
  • Columbia University
  • Emerson College
  • Ohio State University
  • Duke University
  • Arizona State University
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Princeton University
  • Tufts University
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Mayo Medical School
  • Stanford
  • University of Minnesota – Twin Cities


  • Karynb9

    I absolutely understand providing opportunities like AP courses for students who are advanced and need that acceleration beyond a traditional Honors-level course. However, why are we, in effect, penalizing high schools because students are not doing well in college-level courses that they take during…high school?!? Why can’t high schools be expected to do a great job of teaching…oh, I don’t know…HIGH SCHOOL courses? Anything else they are able to offer to students in terms of AP or dual credit courses should be a bonus. Why are we measuring “college readiness” by whether or not students succeed in college courses while they are still sophomores or juniors or seniors in high school? If a school gets students ready to take and succeed in college level classes after four years of high school, haven’t they done their job? However, high schools are actually expected to get kids “college-ready” after just TWO years of high school courses so they can take college-level AP courses as juniors and seniors. It’s seriously no different than grading an elementary school based on how many of their first graders can pass the third grade ISTEP test, and saying that they’re “failing” if that number is too low.

    Shoot. Hope I haven’t just put any new ideas in the heads of legislators in this state with that last sentence…

  • Kyle Issleb

    Two years ago, my school allowed freshmen to take AP World History. Even though they were our best and brightest, the kids struggled with the college-level material. So why even allow them to take the class? Because it made the school look better by boosting the AP enrollment. This whole judging schools based on AP enrollment is completely off-kilter and leads to students taking classes they aren’t ready for yet.

  • Staciehew

    I went to a school that had two levels before AP. You could take the regular level, the honors level, or the AP. It was a good way to see if you could handle it, or if you were not quite ready for AP, could at least step it up to the honor level. I took a mixture of all three throughout my high school career and passed my AP exams in the areas where I excelled, but took lower levels for the areas where I wasn’t as advanced.

  • Carol Ewing

    AP classes help to challenge students who are capable above the level of regular classes. These students do not do their best work or even drop out if not challenged. It is like moving up in elementary school, like my mother-in-law who finished grade school when very young. It also gives a jump start for free college credit.

    • Karynb9

      Yes, AP courses and dual-enrollment courses are great when students who are ready for them and need them take them. However, a high school shouldn’t be graded on how many students pass AP exams. Judging a school on whether or not its students exhibit “college readiness” based on whether or not they have already passed college level courses before they graduate from high school defies logic.

      A separate issue is the fact that the college credit that is frequently given for AP classes by most colleges isn’t necessarily credit that counts toward a student’s future major. A student can graduate from high school with credits from passing five different AP tests, but still have to take the same electives and required courses toward their major that they would have without the AP credit. The student will just graduate with 139 credit hours instead of 124 (or whatever) hours. Colleges don’t like giving out “free college credit” if they don’t have to (“Yes, you’ll get credit for passing English 101 with this score on your AP English test from high school…but your major actually requires you to take English 111 instead of English 101, so you’ll still have to take a freshman English class.”). Yes, the AP courses themselves can still be a great benefit to college-bound students in terms of providing them with rigor, but parents and students often go into AP courses believing, “If I pass these five AP classes, I only have to go to college for seven semesters, so I’m saving thousands of dollars.” Very rarely is that true.

  • Carol Ewing

    I wonder though. The students criticized their teachers as part of the problem. Do they mean their AP teacher as well? Are their teachers so discouraged in Indiana by now that they are finding it difficult to function? The teachers I know are very dedicated and knowledgeable but also exhausted because of all the “reforms” and not knowing what negative news will come next. They just want to teach!

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