Connecting to Students through Text Messaging Chatbots

Artist depiction of the internet

April 9, 2024 - 1:00 PM

Artificial intelligence text-messaging chatbots are becoming more and more popular in higher education, as institutions implement the tool to give students an outlet to ask questions and staff members a new avenue to communicate. These bots can easily complement academic advising communication and help keep students on track to graduation. This session will broadly explain how a large, public university implemented one of these bots for about 25,000 undergraduate students. Using the framework of a June 2023 survey we sent to students about the bot, we will also show participants how the bot has enhanced students, advising experiences and increased help-seeking behaviors. Through this session, participants will learn how the university uses the bot to learn from its students, and how the bot team uses usage data to influence advising, enrollment management, and campus engagement strategies and decisions. If you're part of a campus that does not have a bot, you will also learn about student communication best practices.

What You'll Learn:

- Understand the types of communication campaigns the bot can deploy and how to measure effectiveness

- Grasp the importance of targeted communication for efforts around academic support and sense of belonging

- Learn how students' bot usage can inform an understanding of students' communication expectations and habits

- Gain insight on how students' bot engagement can influence advising, enrollment management, and campus engagement strategies and decisions

Headshot of Zoe Lance

Zoe Lance

Communications Specialist for the Office of Student Success, Equity and Innovation, Cal Poly Pomona

Zoe Lance is the Communications Specialist for the Office of Student Success, Equity and Innovation at Cal Poly Pomona. She manages student communication related to academic advising and support, including the university’s artificial intelligence text messaging robot Billy Chat. 

Headshot of Cecilia Santiago-González

Cecilia Santiago-González

Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for Student Success, Cal Poly Pomona

Dr. Cecilia Santiago-González is the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for Student Success at Cal Poly Pomona. She oversees initiatives related to retention, graduation and enrollment, which includes the campus’s efforts in the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025. She received NACADA Region 9’s Outstanding Advising Administrator Award in 2022.

Core Competencies Addressed

Academic Advising Core Competencies that will be addressed in this presentation include: 

  • I6 icon.png  Campus and community resources that support student success.
  • I7 icon.png  Information technology applicable to relevant advising roles. 

Register by Mail/Fax

Individuals using checks or purchase orders for payment must use this Registration Form.  

  • Please complete the form, print it, and mail or fax to the Executive Office. Registrations will be processed in the order they are received. Once processing is complete, you will receive via email a receipt or invoice for the event.
  • The completed form and a check or approved PO must be received by the Executive Office at least two working days prior to the event. If the event should reach capacity before your registration can be processed, your check or PO will be returned to you.
  • Note: For your financial safety, we can NOT accept registrations with a credit card via email.

Transfer/Refund Policy

If you find after registering that you are not able to attend the broadcast, you may:

- Choose to simply remain registered and view the streamable recording of the event from the link that will be provided and available for 30 days following the event.

- Transfer your registration to another individual from your institution. (If this person is not a current NACADA member, they will either be asked to become a member or pay the non-member fee.)

- Up to 30 days prior to the webinar: Request a refund of paid registration fees (less $25) in writing. 

- 29 to 8 days prior to the webinar: Request a refund off paid registration fees (less 50%) in writing. 

- Due to service provider obligations, refund requests can not be accepted less than 8 days before the event. Internal campus substitutions can be made up to 3 days before the broadcast.

- In the unlikely event the broadcast is cancelled, registration fees will be returned.


NACADA Members:

  • Before/on March 10 - $150
  • After/on March 11 - $175


  • Before/on March 10 - $300
  • After/on March 11 - $325

Registration closes April 7, 2024