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Meet Squire, NECC’s New Bilingual  Chatbot

Submitted by on October 26, 2021 – 3:20 pm

If you’ve visited the NECC website homepage in recent months, you’ve likely been greeted by a friendly robot.

Nicknamed “Squire,” a nod to the NECC Knights mascot, the new addition to the site serves as a chatbot, designed to answer common questions that prospective and current students might have about enrollment and admissions, financial aid, academic placement and testing, IT services, and more. In just a few months of use, it has already engaged in over 2,300 conversations, averaging hundreds on certain peak weekdays.

“One of the goals of the chatbot is to answer students’ questions at any day or time, even if no one is available to assist them live,” says Audrey Ellis, director of institutional effectiveness.

That round-the-clock support is particularly important for students whose busy work schedules don’t allow them to seek guidance from staff and faculty during normal hours of operation. Even a simple, automated response can go a long way in providing students with the resources and services they need to succeed.

The best part? Squire is always learning and adapting. Since its launch, the chatbot has been customized to communicate effectively in both English and Spanish, and its vocabulary only continues to evolve with every new conversation.

Have a question for Squire? Visit www.necc.mass.edu today to try it out.