Empowering Students to Tell Your University's Story

Empowering Students to Tell Your University's Story

In today’s fast-paced world, staying up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in social media is crucial. You have likely hired some students to fill the gaps, but even that comes with challenges.

Maintaining a student team may be challenging due to high turnover rates, busy schedules, and conflicting class schedules. Students also need more advanced training on using social media for business. It’s difficult to find time and resources to provide instruction.

Despite these challenges, it’s important to invest in training student teams. Doing so brings value to their work experience and provides a positive digital space for your community.

What if a training tool existed where students could learn the ins and outs of social media management that they could implement immediately?

That's where the

comes in!

The Academy is a self-paced online learning experience, developed as a one-stop shop for student strategists in higher education, teaching them how to integrate the college or university’s brand, voice, and tone into the digital marketing or social media plan.

By investing in their professional development, institutions can establish trust with their student employees, knowing that they are equipped to represent the institution in a positive and impactful way.

Students Are Supporting Social Media in Every Pocket of Campus.

And when students are trained and empowered, the digital strategies are authentic, timely, and, most importantly, connect with your audience.

The Academy meets students where they’re at — in skill level and function. Whether it’s a student ambassador making user-generated content for Instagram, a brand new student worker in enrollment or student affairs, or a student leader for one of many groups and clubs across campus. The Student Social Media Academy is for any and all areas of the campus environment where students are tasked with creating social media content.

The current rate for the Academy is $149. Lock in your price today!

What Will Students Learn?

Through a series of self-paced modules, students will receive expert guidance from experienced social media professionals. Using interactive videos, workshops, and exercises, they will delve into practical information, explore real-world examples, and develop critical thinking skills essential for managing social media in a campus context.

And for busy students, the good news is that the Academy will only take 10-12 hours

Here is the curriculum that students will have access to:

Social Media in a Campus Context

Explore how social media is used in higher education and the impact it has on campus connectivity.

Campus Branding, Voice,
and Tone

Learn to identify the mission, vision, values, and voice of your institution and find ways to bring it to life.

Social Media Strategy

Harness your campus' digital landscape by defining goals, learning about your audience, evaluating your channels, and measuring the content you deliver.

Content Creation Process

Dive into how to craft compelling content and discover the essential tools needed to engage your campus audience.

Soft Skills for Social Media Managers

Develop critical thinking skills in strategy and be equipped to make informed decisions to protect sensitive campus information. Gain awareness in digital wellness.

Advanced Skillsets & Career Development

Lessons on personal branding, advanced skills that will help you expand your role as a content creator, and future careers in social media.

By learning social media strategy, students get to unleash their digital superpowers. They'll become communication wizards, learning to engage with others online like a pro. Training students on social media strategy equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate these platforms responsibly and effectively, both personally and professionally.
Jaime Hunt
Jaime Hunt
Vice President for University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer at Old Dominion University
As higher education shifts, there’s never been a more crucial time to develop those who support the way the shift is demonstrated on campuses. Simply trusting students to run university social media accounts is not a strategy — we must provide them with professional development. Sending participants to the Student Social Media Academy is not only smart, it’s the right thing to do to advance universities and the students we’ve promised to educate.
Myla Edmond
Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing at California State University-Dominguez Hills


Introducing the Student Social Media Academy Supervisor Guide!

As a bonus, all purchasers of Academy students will receive a in-depth guide that provides a roadmap of what your students are learning. You will find summaries of each module and lesson, a copy of the assignments and Discord prompts, and supervisor tips throughout to help you take the learning to the next level. Plus – there are some resources available exclusively for supervisors at the very end.

Unlock the power of social media and equip your college students with the skills they need to revolutionize your college, department, or program's online presence.

Social Media is About Community.
The Student Academy is Too.

As a bonus, students will receive continual coaching and community using a Discord server where they can network and share ideas while they are going through the materials and throughout their time managing social media in college. This will be the perfect place to connect, share insights, and learn from each other’s experiences.

Access to the Academy is open year-round!

What student graduates are saying

This Academy was very helpful in establishing standards that are necessary to meet for being a social media manager on a university campus. It helped my supervisor and I understand accessibility posting a lot better, as well as gave me some content ideas that I hadn't thought of.
The Social Media Academy helped me further understand the different aspects of running a social media account for my college! I feel like I better understand the importance of engagement and collaboration. I also think that the final module's focus on goals was incredibly beneficial to me as a sophomore in college.
The Student Social Media Academy was a huge help for me! It combined theory with real-world applications, thanks to expert guidance from industry professionals and interactive workshops. I feel more confident than ever to tackle the world of social media.
I think a program like this is very helpful for a student trying to manage social media at a campus! There are many resources that are helpful for social media and management. The Social Media Academy encompassed so many lessons that I will definitely reference in the future.

Who is the Student Academy for?

The Student Social Media Academy is an ideal investment for students who are tasked with creating content in higher education for…

… basically every facet of the campus environment.

Connect with the Coaches

Check out our expert coaches! These pros have years of experience leveraging social media platforms in higher education for branding, marketing, and engagement.

Click on a coach to read their bio!

Cassaundra Moore

Executive Director,
New Media Strategy,
Washington University in St. Louis

Rachel Rodemann Putman

Rachel Rodemann Putman

Director of Communications, University of Arkansas – Fort Smith

Joel Villarini Headshot

Joel Villarini Falbe

Director of Social Media, 
Florida International University

Morgan Campbell

Social Media Manager,
Purdue University Daniels School of Business

Kati Hartwig Headshot

Kati Hartwig

Digital Media Specialist, Columbus Regional Airport Authority

Josie Ahlquist

Josie Ahlquist

Digital Engagement & Leadership Consultant

Let’s Get Your Students Trained!

The Student Social Media Academy offers any campus the opportunity to access expertise and training needed to engage student employees as skilled support to move your social strategy forward. 

Our pricing is accessible at $149 as a part of our commitment to serving higher education partners in ways that produce an immediate impact on their campuses.

Each student enrolled will receive:

Looking for a campus-wide training tool?

Students are involved in social media across all areas of campus, not just in your division or office. When you consider all of the social media accounts that students manage, there could be dozens and dozens of students managing an institutional branded Instagram, TikTok, or blog!

If you’re an institution looking to register more than 15 students, you may qualify for benefit pricing in our All-Access Campus Pass.

Yearly subscriptions are available for even more benefits! Lock in your rate now, and rest easy knowing all your students will get access to the Academy every year.

Contact socialacademy@josieahlquist.com to learn more.

Empowering Students, Supporting Supervisors

The companion to the Student Social Media Academy is here!
Introducing the Supervisor Toolkit.

The Supervisor Toolkit is a self-paced module designed to help supervisors of students develop, train and retain student staff. Supervisors will gain powerful insights and real-world examples to equip students who help run campus social. The toolkit includes:

Access is now open, year-round!

Student Social Media Academy will equip students with methods and techniques to run a brand social media channel efficiently and effectively. They will also learn how to recognize situations before they go sideways. This program is an absolute asset for all schools that have students helping to manage their social media presence.
Jenny Li Fowler headshot
Jenny Li Fowler
Director of Social Media Strategy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
The Student Social Media Academy will allow us to expand our bandwidth as a small residential University to ensure student social media interns are substantively trained on foundational concepts of social media marketing and management. The topics covered are relevant, transferrable for students, and sets them up to more effectively lead in their student internship roles.
Jon Duraj
Jon Duraj
Assistant Vice President for Student Development & Senior Associate Dean of Students at Wittenberg University

Meet the Academy Creator

Dr. Josie Ahlquist

As a residence life graduate assistant in 2002, I started involving my student staff when platforms like MySpace and Facebook arrived. Over the years, I created more opportunities and formal training to empower students to be key communication strategists, no matter the platform.

Following many years of working on college campuses, I went rogue in 2013 and became an independent speaker, consultant, and coach on digital engagement and leadership.

Over the last 11 years, I have trained thousands of students and professionals across the globe on how to craft purposeful and values-driven social media strategies that are effective and engaging.

The one thing I miss about working at a campus is guiding students over time and being part of their transformation. The creation of this Academy is a result of the last twenty years spent developing strategies, and I look forward to meeting you and your students!

Frequently Asked Questions

While the Academy was developed with higher education in mind, the materials can be adapted to fit any industry. Please keep in mind the majority of examples and organization considerations are written to help navigate a college campus.

The academy costs $149 per registration, which includes one log-in to the course portal and one acces into Discord.

Yes, reach out to socialacademy@josieahlquist.com and let us know how many students you need to enroll and we’ll get them set up.

Because this is a digital product, seats in the Student Social Media Academy are non-refundable and non-transferable. I encourage you to triple check before making your final purchase.

This experience was created by professionals who have decades of experience working with and training students content creators, catering specifically to the needs and challenges of the campus community in a social media context. The entire team brings a specific set of skills to the modules that meet students where they are, allowing them to think critically about their roles in ways that make sense.

Throughout the modules, students will be given purposeful exercises designed to immediately apply what they are learning to their work for the university.

Joining the Discord server is optional, but strongly encouraged. This will be a place where students can network, share celebrations and ask questions.

Each module is designed to take about an hour to 90 minutes to complete. Students can expect about six to eight hours total for the full online course material.

Because this is a digital product with access for up to one year per individual, seats in the Student Social Media Academy are non-transferable. Each student who needs access to the Student Social Media Academy should have their own unique login.

Students will receive a certificate of completion and a digital badge to display on LinkedIn or other networks or portfolios.

Access will be available for one year after the academy is purchased. However, Discord access will have lifetime access!

Empowering Students to Tell Your University's Story

Empowering Students to Tell Your University's Story

Get in Touch

Still have questions about the Academy?
I’d be happy to chat so you feel as excited about the program as I am!

Cassaundra Moore

Executive Director, New Media Strategys — Washington University in St. Louis
She, Her, Hers

Cassaundra Moore is the executive director of new media strategy at Washington University in St. Louis. Cassaundra leads WashU’s central social media strategy in an ongoing effort to engage, inform and connect with the university’s core audiences. Through partnerships across the WashU campus community, she has developed and led the creation of meaningful and compelling content that assists in telling the university’s story.

Cassaundra leads the governance of social media best practices, crisis communications and provides guidance for executive leadership who create social media channels. Before WashU, she managed multiple client engagement roles, including social media, video, client education, and events.

Connect with Cassaundra

Rachel Rodemann Putman

Director of Communications — University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

Rachel oversees digital and social media strategy, external communications direction, public and media relations, internal messaging, crisis management, and executive communications. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill, she spent close to a decade as a journalist, and joined the world of higher education in 2014, finding her passion at the intersection of story-telling and education.

She manages a team of incredible student workers each year on the UAFS campus who run TikTok, Instagram, website and LinkedIn campaigns. With her student team, she’s claimed a number of social media impact awards including a CASE Grand Gold award in 2022 for a direct to student social media outreach campaign titled Mental Health Monday. Last academic year her team’s efforts gained the small regional public for 5.9 billion impressions across earned media.

She was named to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Forty under 40 class. She spends her time at home with her musician husband Cory, their two children, Sara and Kyler, their German Shepherd dog, Atticus, and an ever growing slate of foster puppies.

Connect with Rachel

Joel Villarini Falbe

Director of Social Media — Florida International University

I am a digital & social media marketing and communications professional with over 20 years of experience across multiple industries. I’ve worked on client-side, agency, and media environments, giving me a full-circle understanding. I graduated from the University of Denver with a B.A. in Digital Media Studies and a Master of Science in Marketing from Florida International University (FIU).

My experience includes building websites, blogging, social media management, digital audits, content production, crisis management, podcasting, and digital strategy with a specialty in Hispanic audiences. I’ve worked with brands such as Dr Pepper, Avocados from México, Clamato, Southwest Airlines, The Home Depot, and more. My work has been recognized and awarded, including the Latin Social TV Award for Best Connected Show (Idol Puerto Rico 2012).

I currently serve as Social Media Director for FIU, developing content strategies, social listening, training, media buying, and analytics while supporting colleges and units.

Connect with Joel

Morgan Campbell

Social Media Manager —Purdue University, Daniels School of Business

Morgan Campbell is a social media manager for the Daniels School of Business at Purdue University. She graduated from IUPUI in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations. Her responsibilities include content creation, implementing strategy, paid campaigns, consulting, videography, photography, crisis communication, social listening, and more. Additionally, she supervises 2-3 student interns throughout the year who assist with the creation of content for the school’s social media channels. Before joining Purdue University, she presented at conferences, participated in podcasts, and contributed to several articles relating to the launch of Indiana University’s TikTok account and strategy.

Connect with Morgan

Kati Hartwig

Marketing Manager, Dr. Josie Ahlquist Inc.


Residing and working in Columbus, Ohio, Kati has six years of higher education digital marketing experience as the Coordinator of Social Media and Digital Marketing at Youngstown State University where she managed the university’s official social media accounts, coordinated media production for the university, and managed a team of four student employees. In 2021, Kati transitioned to the aviation industry where she’s currently managing social media, websites, photography, and videography for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. She continues her work with college students, bringing in an intern each year to help run social media. More recently, she joined Team Josie as the Marketing Manager.

When she isn’t spending her days online, she’s filling her camera roll with photos of her dog, Roonie, playing dominoes and card games with friends, baking with her mom, and cheering on her favorite sports teams.

Connect with Kati

Josie Ahlquist

Academy Creator

Over the last ten years, I have trained thousands of students and professionals across the globe on how to craft purposeful and values-driven social media strategies that are effective and engaging.

The one thing I miss about working at a campus is guiding students over time and being part of their transformation. The creation of this academy is a result of the last twenty years spent developing strategies, and I look forward to meeting you and your students.

Connect with Josie

Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Rebekah Tilley is the assistant vice president of communication and marketing for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA). In that role she supports fundraising and alumni engagement efforts for the university, including its CASE Gold winning Iowa Magazine, and serves UICA in a variety of strategic communication efforts.

Previously she was the director of strategic communication for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, and the director of communication for the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is a Kentucky native and a proud alum of the University of Kentucky.

Connect with Rebekah

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