Blinn launches new virtual assistant to answer student questions

New chatbot feature helps students with admissions, advising, and financial aid questions

July 1, 2020

Blinn College District students now have an innovative new way to receive answers to common admissions, advising, and financial aid questions when they visit www.blinn.edu.

Blinn recently launched a virtual assistant named “Buc” on the admissions, advising, and financial aid pages of Blinn’s website, as its newest tool to provide students access to a comprehensive and efficient student support system.

“Blinn is committed to making sure our students get connected with the support they need,” said Karen Buck, Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Administration. “This virtual assistant is an innovative technology that serves as a complement to our dedicated staff members and helps streamline our ability to respond and connect.”

Buc uses artificial intelligence equipped with information from the Blinn website to help students find answers to commonly asked questions. The more the virtual assistant is used, the smarter the artificial intelligence becomes.

For questions the virtual assistant cannot answer, students are routed to a live agent or, if the question arrives outside of business hours, they are invited to submit their question so a live agent can email a response back. Students also can utilize the live chat option available through the admissions webpage or they can reach out by phone or email to the appropriate department during regular business hours.

“This tool was planned as a new resource for our students, but with Blinn offices currently closed to the public due to COVID-19, we felt there was even more urgency to provide an additional layer of virtual assistance for our current and prospective students,” said Christy Johanson, Dean of Enrollment Services and Registrar. “We believe this new feature will guide students to relevant information and help direct them to the answers they need.”

With staff working remotely through the summer, Buc reinforces Blinn’s full range of services that include virtual advising appointments, virtual visits with a Prospective Student Relations specialist, Online New Student Registration, and Online Preview Day.

Blinn recently expanded its online educational support for students with the launch of a new online tutoring system.

Registration is open for Blinn’s Summer II and Fall 2020 semesters. Summer II courses begin Monday, July 6, and will be offered entirely online. For application and registration information, visit www.blinn.edu/admissions.

To learn more about the Back with Blinn plan to safely reopen campuses for the Fall 2020 semester, visit www.blinn.edu/back-with-blinn.

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Richard Bray
Director of Communications, Media Relations, and Marketing
Blinn College District
Office: 979-209-7285
Richard.Bray@blinn.edu

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About Blinn College

With an enrollment of 19,581 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.