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New Messenger Released to Connect Student Services with Comets

Comet is a new chatbot that was recently released on Palomar College’s website.

This new bot is programed with many answers from frequently asked questions by students. Comet allows students to communicate with staff members and get their questions answered via text message at all times of the day, seven days a week.

Nancy Browne, Manager for Orientation and Follow-Up Services at Palomar College, was very excited about the launch of Comet. She mentioned that one of Student Service’s goals with this new tool was to not only connect with current students, but also as way to connect with those students who left Palomar College due to COVID-19.

“We launched it as a way to help our students stay on track, with COVID we knew we had to find a way to communicate with our students. We also wanted to be very intentional and proactive about reaching out, especially to our most vulnerable student population,” Browne said.

She mentioned that many students had already begun using Comet to get their questions answered at any time of the day.

She said to be receiving very good feedback with responses from students while using Comet.

“We see students saying ‘thank you’ with a happy face, or they even sometimes say ‘I love you,'” she said.

Andrea Escobar, 19, is a second-year student at Palomar College. Escobar believes that this new tool is an amazing opportunity for those students who tend to have questions late at night, or have a busy schedule during Palomar College’s office hours.

“My schedule works better at night, there are times when I work on homework or have questions about something regarding Palomar at 3 a.m., and I don’t really have the option to call the office for help,” Escobar explained.

Escobar mentioned that during the current global pandemic, no student has been able to get in-person help from staff or counselors at Palomar College, or it may sometimes take time to get help from them.

“This tool is going to benefit everyone. It will also greatly help our staff have less work on their backs while also providing students with fast responses,” she added.

On the other side, Browne explained that the Student Services Communication team still has some work to do.

The Student Services Communication team will be working with other departments on campus to develop a process to send out text campaigns to students to let them know about this new tool.

“This work is just getting started. As we keep getting feedback from students we will keep improving our tools,” Browne said.

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