The iGen Shift

The iGen Shift: Colleges Are Changing to Reach the Next Generation

The newest students are transforming the way schools serve and educate them, including sending presidents and deans to Instagram and Twitter.

By Laura Pappano 

A generation that rarely reads books or emails, breathes through social media, feels isolated and stressed but is crazy driven and wants to solve the world’s problems (not just volunteer) is now on campus. Born from 1995 to 2012, its members are the most ethnically diverse generation in history, said Jean M. Twenge, psychology professor at San Diego State University.

Campuses also have been slow to recognize that this age group is not millennials, version 2.0.

“IGen has a different flavor,” said Dr. Twenge of San Diego State University and author of “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us.”

Getting student attention and keeping it matters to administrators trying to build excitement for campus events, but also in prodding students about housing contracts and honor codes.

Being social on social media attracts students who might tune out official communication. Mr. Babineaux said he and his friends noted when college posts sounded “goofy” or “like your grandfather trying to say swag.”

 

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