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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Student services go online

Although the Brahma Café is closed due to COVID-19 prevention, a new one is open to Pierce students who are seeking academic help known as Cranium Café.

Transfer Center Director Sunday Salter said that guidance counselors can continue making education plans with students online through the Cranium Café platform.

“They can share their screen, they can take a student to websites with the student watching so they will log in as the counselor,” Salter said. “I have access to all the students’ records, so I would be able to pull that up and do an education plan.”

Students can log in directly from the Cranium Café website by using their Pierce credentials. There, students can schedule appointments with counselors or virtually knock on the doors of faculty who are available at the moment.

Career and Transfer Center mentor Lauren Franco said that the website allows her to keep track of who attends workshops. Despite the occasional technical glitches, she said her live chats have been successful.

“There have been so many changes in such a short period of time that students are taking time to adjust,” Franco said. “I have chatted with some students who are bummed about not being able to walk for graduation and really missing a lot of the in-person interactions.”

The Career and Transfer Center is also in the process of using Google Voice so mentors can speak with students over the phone instead of video chatting.

“We are starting to roll out Google Voice to talk with students on the phone if they have poor internet or are not comfortable chatting online,” Franco said.

According to Franco, it will be up and running by next week.

Admissions and Records assistant Vivian Meshriky said that she hopes Cranium Café can be utilized even when the campus is allowed to be reopened.

“The Café should be a backup plan if another outbreak comes again,” Meshriky said. “I like the idea that after we go back to the office, we can provide virtual help for the students.”

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