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Analysis of social networking of community college counselors for accessing knowledge and information
The need for a cost-effective education is important for students in higher education as well as for the institutions they attend. This study investigated how community college counselors (CC counselors) accessed knowledge and information (K&I) through their social network. The goals of this study were: (1) to investigate the social network structure of CC counselors; (2) to evaluate the frequency, timeliness, and quality of K&I the CC counselors accessed; and (3) to determine the impact on their job function CC counselors attribute to their social network. This was a quantitative research that used: (1) The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, SPSS 18; and (2) Social Network Analysis of Ucinet 6. An online survey was distributed to counselors at a large, metropolitan, comprehensive two-year community college in Southern California. The results showed that the social network of respondents was significantly important for their job, and it was beneficial to the academic counseling activities. The existing social network allowed respondents to access K&I with the right person at the right time. The findings in this study clearly indicated the social network provided many invisible but significantly important supports to counselors for academic counseling services. Moreover, college administrators may use the findings to improve K&I accessing and sharing for the counselors, and as a result, improve academic counseling services and student success.