There’s a New Bot in Town

HSU uses impactful technology to communicate with incoming students

As Humboldt State University (HSU) continues to struggle with attracting and maintaining the student body, it has developed a new approach with how students communicate with the university.

Modern problems require modern solutions and the admissions office just got a new solution to the FAQ problem they’ve been having. With the support of Dr. Alex Enyedi, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, some HSU students recently received text messages from a chat bot called HumBot.

Developed by AdmitHub, an intelligent conversational platform for students, they describe their business model on their website as “[fostering] student success with mobile messaging powered by Artificial Intelligence.”

The purpose stated by the Provost Office in a proposal on March 2018, is to use the chat bot as a tool “to increase enrollment yield and ultimately student retention within HSU.” Similar technology has been implemented in other Cal State Universities like CSU Northridge, and colleges all over the nation such as Georgia State University and West Texas A&M University.

With the introduction of a chatbot onto Georgia State campus, GSU was able to see a 3.9% increase in admissions.  Both AdmitHub and the Provost Office state this statistic as a reason to transition towards AI in education.

Incoming freshmen Leah Fyre-Edmonds said about the technology that its “different, not something I was expecting them on having” when asked how she felt towards receiving a message.

“I asked if there were any ATMs around, it had to send the question to a human,” said Priscilla Paniagua another incoming freshman.

Leah got better results when she used the technology and said “I used it to see how to add C-card points, it just sent me a link with more information.”

The bot is currently only able to message freshmen and transfer students. The purpose behind HumBot is to help keep enrollment numbers high.

In the initial March Proposal by the Provost Office, they acknowledge and wrote that “The addition of a chatbot would ensure that all students have the help they need. Potentially this project could be two-fold and help current students too.”

While technology is not a fix it all cure, its purpose here seems to be to focus on new students.

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