New chatbot Rocky

 MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Maintaining strong connections with students is vital for a successful college experience, and to ensure that students at Western Illinois University have access to the resources to help them succeed, WIU is launching the new chatbot, "Rocky," this fall.

New chatbot Rocky

Through the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund, WIU partnered with EdSights to put the new 'bot into place to assist WIU students find success, according to Justin Schuch, executive director of retention initiatives.

"This chatbot program enhances our efforts to increase access to vital resources and support," he explained. "The chatbot, which we've named after our mascot, will interact with students via text messaging and answer questions they may have about WIU, as well as share information about our resources if students express particular needs. Rocky will also proactively reach out to students and ask questions around particular areas of concern to see if that student is at risk. This is in place to help students know that we care about them and we want to help them succeed."

Rocky will send its first message to students in the coming days to let them know of the service. Students who opt to receive the messages will get texts from Rocky every week to 10 days, Schuch added.

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