SUNY Jefferson

Conversational AI Chatbot “Jeffie” to Support Communication and Enrollment Initiatives

Published: October 18, 2019

Image of mobile
Chatbot Jeffie provides information 24/7

Current and prospective Jefferson Community College (JCC) students can now get on-demand answers from an artificially intelligent texting chatbot named “Jeffie”. Jeffie will support prospective students throughout their admission process by providing information they need twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Administrators at Jefferson Community College partnered with AdmitHub, an AI chatbot service, to develop the tool.

Students received an introductory text message when the college launched the chatbot on October 7th, encouraging them to ask Jeffie questions. In addition to students asking the chatbot questions on their own, Jeffie also initiates conversations by sending messages, reminders of important dates such as financial aid application deadlines, open class registration and special events.

James Ambrose, Dean for Enrollment at the College, says, “Aside from being a great communication tool for our current students, we hope to engage and connect with our future students throughout the admissions process. Communicating with students on the platform they use the most will enhance the connection with Jefferson and facilitate a smooth transition when they start college in the fall.”

Students asked Jeffie 628 questions in its first week of operation. In the most recent media preference survey of Jefferson students, 75 percent of students reported that they like receiving information about important dates via text.

The admissions team worked over several months to create the database of answers and implement the communication tool. Jeffie will be incorporated on admissions related webpages on the College website as well. Roughly eighty percent of the time, the chatbot has the answer to college-related questions. Its database of answers will grow as students ask more questions. A response team of college professionals are tasked with providing and tracking answers for anything Jeffie cannot answer. Director of Admissions Chelsea Monroe says, “Providing immediate support to students when they need it is important. Being able to get answers when college offices are closed will be really helpful to our students.”