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New Connection

Registrar’s Office rolls out new virtual counter to streamline assistance

 

Registering for classes can feel overwhelming, which is why last fall the Registrar’s Office at Bridgewater State University introduced a virtual front counter, which allows students to chat live with a staff member.  

Political Science major Olivia Anderson, ‘26, works as an office assistant in the office and knows firsthand how intimidating it can be.  

“It can be difficult to sometimes even get to the Registrar’s Office,” she said. “Trying to relay your questions and what you need can be hard, but I think the virtual front counter gives students a better understanding of the process to more efficiently register and get things done.” 

The idea for this newest technology evolved when administrators noticed a drop off in post COVID office visits.

“Since we’ve come back to campus and the ‘new normal,’ it took us time to digest and process how things have evolved,” said Joseph Wolk, registrar. “The way we work has changed, the way we communicate has changed.”

In an effort to make things more accessible, things have moved online including transcript requests and E-diplomas

“We’re always trying to think of ways to make the experience as stress-free as possible,” Wolk said. 

Students can access the virtual front counter by visiting studentbridgew.sharepoint.com. It is available Monday through Thursday from 10a.m. to 2 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. and in April, additional morning hours will be offered to help with spring registration.  

Once accessed, students are greeted by a friendly face from the registrar’s staff ready to answer their questions.  

“One of the biggest benefits is that a person can share their screen with us so we can see exactly what their question is about. It allows us to respond quickly and efficiently,” Wolk said.  

For this reason, calls work best using a computer vs. cell phone, as it allows students to share their screen.  

Another positive, Wolk said, is you don’t need to schedule an official appointment, you can just log on within the offered hours. “ He added that the site is not just for students.

“If you have a specific question for the registrar, this is a way for the BSU community; faculty, staff advisors, anyone who needs support can use it,” he said.  

The registrar is the first to use this type of technology on campus, but Wolk anticipates other departments will follow.  

“Since we launched, it’s been so well received. We are hoping to make it part of the culture in terms of student-support options,” he said.  

Anderson agrees and says she would love to see others on campus offer something similar. 

“We are a larger campus and sometimes it can be hard to get to places at times. I think all departments should offer something like this, it could be really helpful for students,” she said.  

Do you have a BSU story you'd like to share? Email stories@welleye.net. 

 

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