A new online platform is now open and available to all BJU students to showcase their accomplishments in and out of the classroom through a service called Merit.
Merit, an online application produced by readMedia, is used by more than 100 colleges and universities around the country to allow students to publish their achievements through social media on meritpages.com.
The setup is simple: The University publishes your accomplishments (like making the dean’s list, joining a choir or receiving a scholarship) to your own personal Merit page. As new achievements, in the form of badges, are awarded, you are notified via email. Once you claim your page, you can choose to share your accomplishments through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a variety of other platforms.
Your Merit page link may also be included on your resume as it provides a verified list of achievements that were awarded during your college career. Merit also creates personalized press releases that are sent to local newspapers and websites across the country promoting achievements in students’ home areas.
The creation of these Merit pages has produced tremendous results, both for students and the University, said Randy Page, BJU’s director of public relations.
For example, at the end of last semester, Merit sent out 1,742 press releases for BJU students who had been named to the dean’s list. “It would take forever to do that manually,” Page said. These press releases generated “an incredible number of articles across the nation,” he said. Each one provided positive press for the University and the education that students receive. “It’s an incredible way to get the word out about what students are accomplishing here at Bob Jones University,” he said.
BJU has been using Merit since May, but until recently, students were unable to have a personal Merit page until the University awarded them an accomplishment. Merit recently changed their policy and encouraged colleges and universities to give all students a Merit page of their own. Now students can begin using this tool as soon as they claim their pre-made accounts.
Page invites all students to claim their Merit pages by signing in via email, Facebook or Twitter and also to add their profile pictures, academic activities and work experience. “It’s very, very easy,” Page said. Once you set up your page and add all the information you want, upkeep is simple. “We essentially update it for you,” he said, so there’s no need to spend long hours continually updating your page.
More than 500 students joined during just the first weekend after the announcement of the creation of individual Merit pages. Page hopes students’ curiosity will be piqued and that they will try out their own Merit pages once they see how their peers are using theirs.
Page invites students to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions they might have. “I want them to get engaged in this because it really is an exciting program,” he said. He hopes students will be excited to get involved in spreading news and using technology in a way that wasn’t possible prior to this.