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Coast Guard Academy Taps University WebChat To Speak with Potential Students

The United States Coast Guard Academy, a military college in New London, CT, has adopted University WebChat to aid in communicating with potential students online.

"Student recruitment is one of the primary benefits of utilizing University WebChat, but it also addressed our interest in providing quality customer service," said Leo Gonot, associate director of admissions for marketing at the academy. "Currently, we have three admissions officers who are collectively responsible for approximately 3,500 applicants. A chat session is a great way to offer instant feedback to questions raised by our applicants and their parents. It is almost always the case that if one student has a question that several others will have the exact same question. Chat is a great way to address the needs of several students during one session."

Gonot said staff and faculty hold a chat session every Thursday night to answer general admissions questions and cover special topics that would be of interest to prospective students, such as special visitation events, a one-week summer program, and the school's Honors Program.

The service, which is Web-based "was literally up and running the day we contracted with them," Gonot said. "I have interacted with recruitment technology in higher education for over 20 years and this has clearly been the easiest implementation that I have experienced." The admissions team did some practice chats then held its first live chat a week later.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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