Redefining Your Academic Lifecycle: The Role of Generative AI in Higher Education
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5 min read
March 22, 2024

Redefining Your Academic Lifecycle: The Role of Generative AI in Higher Education

A student sits at a desk with her books and a laptop.
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When you hear “generative AI,” you might automatically think of ChatGPT. And, if you’re a campus leader, the question that might pop into your head next is, “How are students using ChatGPT in their assignments?”

Sure, students likely understand how to make AI work for them, but students aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit from applications of generative AI. There are plenty of ways your academic teams can benefit from implementing AI into their workflows. 

Here’s why your campus should consider strategically incorporating AI in higher education.

AI in Higher Education: AI Chatbots  

AI has burst onto the scene in a big way. However, it might surprise you to learn that generative AI has existed since the 1960s. What’s new is the strategic ways various industries apply generative AI, including AI in higher education. 

Generative AI is the most popular type of artificial intelligence. If you’ve used ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini (formerly Bard), you’ve seen generative AI in action. Generative AI is trained on large data sets and can produce text or images based on a given query thanks to complicated algorithms and various software. The thing about generative AI is that it constantly learns new patterns in the data set because new data is continually introduced. 

So, how can college campuses use generative AI to support their workflows? Simple, the answer is AI chatbots.

AI chatbots, like Cadence, are AI-powered tools that use natural language processing to simulate conversations with humans. The more users interact with these chatbots, the more accurate the response to any given query will be. Unlike rule-based chatbots that answer questions based on specific keywords, AI chatbots are more adaptive and responsive to a user’s query, allowing the chatbot to respond more accurately.

AI chatbots can be incorporated into your campus website to support your student success teams, academic advisors, alumni, and financial aid offices. It’s helpful to consider your student- or alumni-facing teams, as they likely handle numerous student or alumni requests and questions. 

So, think of AI in higher education as your teams’ personalized helper or an additional set of hands to better support your students and alumni. 

How AI Chatbots Can Support Your Academic Teams

There are many ways your campus can benefit from the use of AI chatbots. Let’s look at three ways to strategically incorporate an AI chatbot to help support your academic teams and, ultimately, your students. 

Student Enrollment 

The enrollment season is always hectic for your enrollment teams and financial aid office. Students have questions, and they need answers. 

Answering student questions with urgency is important. However, during enrollment season, it can be overwhelming for your teams to stay on top of answering student questions as they come in.

This is how AI in higher education can benefit and support your enrollment teams. By incorporating an AI chatbot, like Cadence, with your campus website, the chatbot can answer questions students may have about the enrollment process. For example, suppose a student needs to know the deadline for application submission or needs an explanation of a financial aid form. In that case, the chatbot can provide an answer, leaving your team available to answer more complex questions. 

Plus, if a student’s question becomes too complicated for your AI chatbot, a member of your team can monitor the conversation and help students when necessary.

Student Success

AI chatbots can also be incorporated to support your student success teams, like your academic advisors. Your academic advisors are pros at helping students select courses that align with their career goals. However, there are only so many hours in a day, and from personal experience, students tend to have questions after work hours.

Incorporating AI in higher education with AI chatbots, like Cadence, means your students have 24/7 access to answers to whatever questions arise. AI chatbots can help your students map their college graduation plans and suggest courses to help them reach their academic goals. AI chatbots can even guide students to the necessary web pages and forms to help them quickly enroll in their needed classes.

Alumni Engagement 

Keeping your alumni involved and active on campus is a massive factor in your institution’s continued success. AI chatbots can help support the workflows of your alumni engagement team. 

AI chatbots are beneficial to your alumni in various ways. Aside from answering queries, AI chatbots like Cadence can help keep your alumni informed about upcoming events. For example, when an alumni visits the alumni pages on your websites, the chatbot can announce upcoming events and invite the visitor to register for the event right within the chat. 

AI chatbots can also support the donation process by providing step-by-step instructions for seamless donations and explaining how, where, and why monetary contributions are used. And because your alumni office supports the career goals of your graduates, AI chatbots can also help suggest viable career paths based on the user’s information.

Easily Incorporate AI in Higher Education with Cadence

Incorporating AI-powered chatbots like Cadence with your website means you have an extra set of hands ready to help when needed. AI chatbots can answer student questions, help students chart their academic courses, and keep alumni informed about upcoming events. 

This isn’t an exhaustive list of ways to use AI in higher education. As the popularity of artificial intelligence continues to skyrocket, the usefulness and benefits of AI in higher education will continue to grow.

Ready to learn more about how AI chatbots work? Book a demo with our team to learn more about how Cadence can help support your students, alumni, and academic teams.