Current and prospective WNC students have a new way to get information about the college.
WNC now offers online chat service to help students and others get their questions answered. Along with phone, online and meeting in person, students can quickly submit a question through the live chat box on the WNC website titled “Quick Question? Talk to Us Here” and receive a prompt response.
“Anyone who is interested in the college can ask a question,” said Heather Rikalo, an administrative assistant in Counseling Services who is overseeing the new college service.
Students can access the live chat at the bottom right-hand corner of the college website at wnc.edu. They will be asked to input their name and email address before triggering the chat service.
“We never ask for any personal information,” Rikalo said. “It’s pretty general. If they need more in-depth information, we refer them to the office they need to speak to.”
Live chat is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, unless the college is closed. Questions that are submitted after hours or on weekends will be answered on the following business day.
So far, questions through the chat have been about the hours and locations of the academic skills centers, how to contact a professor, how to transfer credits to the college, how to find the list of employment opportunities on campus, and where the campus buildings are located.
“We’re able to attach documents to our replies and we provide links to online forms in different departments,” Rikalo said.
It also is a way for students to access links to book appointments with the counseling and financial aid offices, as well as the Latino Cohort, she said.
WNC President Chet Burton, along with Counseling Services helped provide the support for the new service.
Rikalo has trained six peer mentors to answer the live chat questions.
“We’ve been averaging about 20 questions per day, and overnight we usually get three-to-five questions,” Rikalo said. “As we’re starting a new school year or a new semester, I think it will be busier.”