online students

Online students receive advising, counseling network

California Online Education Initiative selects Cranium Cafe for online advising and counseling

California higher education regulatory policies mandate that online students receive support services equitable to those provided to students taking on campus courses. As such, the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative (OEI) is developing a system-wide network of trained online advising and community college counselors.

Working in collaboration with the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the OEI that is funded by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office recently selected Cranium Cafe’s SaaS technology to provide equitable counseling and advising for online students.

Subscriptions are available through an agreement between the Foundation for California Community Colleges and Cranium Cafe. Cranium Cafe’s mission is democratizing student services, such as online academic advising, counseling and tutoring, regardless of location or ability and their software is the only video engagement technology designed specifically for student services. Without downloading any software, and with the click of one button, online students can instantly connect face-to-face with counselors and advisors in a FERPA and ADA compliant collaborative environment.

“Effective online counseling and advising are critical components of the OEI’s strategy to expand online course offerings and improve online learning outcomes. Cranium Cafe’s easy to use software essentially replicates an in-office experience, and is the only technology that can facilitate the intimate, private conversations between students and their counselors,” said Bonnie Peters OEI Chief Student Services Officer.

Cranium Cafe is currently working with the OEI’s 27 pilot colleges to integrate with their web pages and learning management systems, as well as to train counselors and advisors on using the Cafe. Colleges outside of the pilot have a “buy-in” option available, allowing them to purchase Cranium Cafe technology at the same discounted pricing as the OEI pilot schools.

Non-OEI pilot colleges interested in taking advantage of this great opportunity should contact the OEI Chief Student Services Officer Bonnie Peters for further details.

“One of the most difficult things to accomplish when trying to implement robust student services for online learning programs, which are an accreditation requirement, is connecting local counselors to online students. The concerns about privacy, accessibility, and ease of use have all been problems. I am happy that Cranium Cafe has the full solution!” said Patricia James OEI Executive Director. “The philosophy of the OEI is to do what is best for students, and providing online counseling student services is absolutely right thing to do. As we have more students accessing their educational opportunities online, these services will become more necessary to their success and to our own.”

The proposal and contract negotiation processes for online counseling and advising technology were managed by the Foundation for California Community Colleges.

The Foundation obtained special pricing for the community colleges, and any state agency may utilize a “buy in” option which extends pricing to the. The Foundation’s CollegeBuys program was leveraged by the OEI to secure the contract with Cranium Cafe.

Laura Ascione