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The Emotional and Online Journey of Prospective College Students

Stakes and emotions are high for prospective students, and all those emojis are playing out online. This between-a-sode brings you straight into the research lab with our favorite social listening partner, Campus Sonar. I welcome returning Josie & the Podcast guest, Stephen App, as well as Rebecca Stapley – both part of the Campus Sonar team. We’re dissecting the findings of their most recent research on future and current college students’ online conversations called, Social Listening in Higher ed: The College Admissions Journey.

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The internet is real life, which means the perception of your campus online is reality. Do you know what your reality is and if it aligns with your strategic initiatives? Social listening can help answer questions you have about your campus’s online conversation—both what people are saying to you when they tag you as well as about you when they don’t—and how to incorporate insights from that conversation into your institution’s goals. And getting started doesn’t have to be a huge investment of time or money. Campus Sonar, a higher ed social listening agency and sponsor of JATP, has the goods to help you get started, whether you’re just looking to read up or want to try a low-cost, introductory project. Learn more at

Notes from this Episode:

More About Steve

Steve is Campus Sonar’s Business Development Manager. A natural marketer and relationship builder, Steve has spent more than ten years in higher education, in both campus and agency environments. In his career, Steve has helped launch a student-blogging platform, an agency podcast, and a higher education online magazine, all with a mission to bring people together through content.

At Campus Sonar, Steve serves as an evangelist for social listening, helping higher education institutions understand new ways that campus constituents—including prospective, admitted, and current students, as well as faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders—use social media and online communities to communicate. An amateur runner, professional donut connoisseur, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma, you can often find him posting Seinfeld gifs on Twitter.

Connect with Steve

Twitter: @stephenapp

LinkedIn: /stephenapp

Instagram: @stephenapp

Twitter: @rstapley

LinkedIn: /rstapley

More About Rebecca

Rebecca is a Strategist at Campus Sonar. She has spent more than nine years in higher education enrollment and marketing, honing her skills and passion for delivering results-driven strategy that aligns with institutional goals and values. While on campus, Rebecca piloted a student blog targeted towards prospective students and managed a team of student content creators who added their authentic voice to help tell the college story. She also served as strategist and project manager for the college’s Giving Day and launched a new strategic partnership between alumni and marketing focused on social media. Rebecca holds a Master’s Degree in Integrative Marketing and Communications and is a noted public speaker who has presented at various higher education conferences. Outside of her day job, Rebecca is a yoga teacher and health coach. She loves being cozy and spending time in nature with her husband and their dogs, Gus and Ella.

Connect with Rebecca

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Connect with Josie

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