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Cranium Cafe at SCC

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By​ Amanda Carpenter
What is Cranium Cafe?
By now you have probably heard the name Cranium Cafe at one point or another by someone on campus. Cranium Cafe is a digital collaboration platform designed for student support. Some features include Live-Chat, Video Chat, Document Upload/Share, Whiteboard, Document Editing Pad, Screenshare and a Virtual Lobby.
Essentially Cranium Cafe is what it is called, it’s a virtual cafe, where you can invite students or other staff members into your own personal meeting café to begin providing support to students or collaborating with colleagues.
How is SCC using Cranium Cafe?
Prior to Temporary Remote Instruction (TRI) only a few SCC departments were utilizing Cranium Cafe. Counseling was the first department to adopt the use of Cranium Cafe, where they began a roll out with Live-Chat hours a couple of times a week and offering online counseling appointments to students with evening and weekend appointments which was a success! Next up was Admissions and Records, Admissions and Records was currently using a different Live-Chat platform, so students were already familiar with the concept of chatting with them. Followed closely behind Admissions and Records was the Transfer Success Center, Financial Aid, Veterans Service Office, and Outreach.

Now, fast forward to TRI. There are 31 unique departments now currently using Cranium Cafe at SCC and growing! Cranium Cafe has exploded and is becoming a familiar platform for students and staff. Students have access to most of the departments Cranium Cafe cards for easy access to Live-Chat from the Online Student Resources page. Other staff and department support cards are also available to students in the Student Support Directory accessible to students once they login. Students are able to login to Cranium Cafe using their Canvas login credentials. There is also an option for students to login as a guest if they have not yet applied to SCC and would still like to chat with services.

Student Support Centers also made the transition to Canvas/Cranium Cafe from in person services during TRI. For STAR Center and The Writing Center, students self-enroll in a Canvas course, for Math Success Center (MSC) students register in the course through normal registration procedures if they are enrolled in a math course. Then students have access to Cranium Cafe cards for tutors and support staff in the center. The tutors and staff can then begin to share a virtual white board with the students, share screens with essays on them, video chat, send links back and forth, as well as the tutors and staff have access a virtual lobby when other students begin to enter the center!

​Now multiple departments are using Cranium Cafe for online appointments with students on top of utilizing Live-Chat. All of the counselors have now transitioned to Cranium Cafe, and it is the platform that is being used to hold Early Welcome appointments, where students will be planning classes as they would have done during their scheduled orientation on campus. Now instead students are meeting with the counselors through Cranium Cafe after their online Canvas orientation is complete.

How to Begin Using Cranium Café
If you or your department have not begun using Cranium Cafe and are interested, please reach out!

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