Student Services Staff: Keep Supporting Students


Get Ready to Support Students Online

Ensure You Have the Right Platforms

When your college campus needs to close completely, restrict access to students and/or staff, or accommodate students or staff who are quarantined, the following resources can help ensure continuity of quality operations in the student services areas. All of these resources are available at no-cost to California Community Colleges. You can learn how to access these services on the Instructions on How to Access Centrally-Funded Support Services page.

Typical In-Person Student Services Remote Activities and Services Recommended Online Platform
Counseling (General, EOPS, etc.) Uploading documents

Virtual lobby services

Live chat

Virtual appointments

Appointment scheduling

Webinars

Electronic signatures

ConexED Cranium Cafe

ConexED Classrooms

SARS

ConexED Calibrate Scheduling

Tutoring 24/7 online tutoring Pisces
Student Helpdesk Virtual lobby 

Live chat

Email services

ConexED Cranium Cafe
Admissions & Records Uploading documents

Virtual lobby 

Live chat

Virtual appointments

Electronic signatures

ConexED Cranium Cafe

SARS

ConexED Calibrate Scheduling

Financial Aid Uploading documents

Virtual lobby 

Live chat

Virtual appointments

Virtual workshops

Electronic signatures

ConexED Cranium Cafe

ConexED Classrooms

New Student Orientation Uploading documents

Virtual lobby 

Live chat

Virtual appointments

ConexED Classrooms
Writing Center Online paper writing support LSI NetTutor
Career and Transfer Services Uploading documents

Virtual lobby

Live chat

Virtual appointments

Virtual webinars

ConexED Cranium Cafe

ConexED Classrooms


Access Online Trainings, Courses, and Support Materials

  • Installation guides and video tutorials for all of the services listed are available in the CVC-OEI Ecosystem Portal.
  • The CVC-OEI Events Calendar lists several upcoming training sessions for online support tools.
  • The CVC-OEI is offering a self-paced version of its popular Online Mental Health for Clinicians Course. Participants will take a close look at the growing demand for online mental health services and their importance for community college students.This self-paced course is not eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) and does not earn a badge. To learn more, visit onlinenetworkoreducators.org and click on Register for Courses to read the course description. To register, click the Self-Paced Online Mental Health for Clinicians course card to enroll.

Counsel Students Online Effectively

Getting Started

  • Initial difficulties getting started and nervousness are totally normal.
  • Many campuses do initial verifications of a student such as asking him/her to show his/her student ID, to share the last four digits of his/her student number or his/her birthdate. Consider what you might ask, but keep it simple.
  • Technical difficulties can throw you off your game but they are no different than disruptions and interruptions that happen face-to-face. Make students aware of your tech failure Plan B. Perhaps ask for a phone number in case something happens during the session.
  • Plan ahead for the online counseling session. Document loading and pre-planning take time to do before a session but save time during the session.
  • Make a list before a session of what you want to remember to say and a list of what you hope to complete in the session.
  • Consider having all relevant tabs open if you know the reason for the session. This saves time.
  • Be familiar with where you have stored all your online documents for easy access.
  • If you are recording the session, let the student know.
  • If you are working with dual screens make sure that the correct screen is allowing you to face the student directly. Use the other screen to reference materials.

Ensure Student Engagement During the Session

  • Consider having a personalized welcome and sign off message.
  • Online student engagement tips:
    • Encourage small talk with the student.
    • Be more verbal when helping the student to navigate information so as to minimize “dead air.” Remember, you’re not next to the student, he/she does not have a full body visual of you like he/she does in your office, so the student may not know what your fingers are doing on the keyboard.
    • Ask “check-in” questions as you work through the session. Sharing info doesn’t have to be a one-way conversation. For example:
      • Any questions about this info?
      • Can you see what I’m showing you?
      • Does this make sense to you?
      • Am I talking too fast?
      • Are there campuses on this Assist list that you want to know more about?
      • Are there any Area 1 classes that you find interesting?
  • Voice: Speak in a normal tone of voice, the student might be located on the other side of the planet but when he/she is online with you, he/she is in your office.
  • Voice: Be aware of voice projection, pace and clarity. Smile, show positivity, this helps the student to relax.
  • Eye contact: It’s easy to get comfortable looking at the student information screen and to forget to make eye contact.
  • Posture: It’s fine to work from home or another comfy location but don’t forget if you’re working online, you still need to display professionalism in your posture and location. If you are sitting on a sofa or a bed, you could look too comfortable and lean back instead of leaning in towards the student. Leaning in towards the student helps you to look more engaged.
  • Be conscious of your posture and body position, make sure your head is centered on the screen.
  • Location: A coffee shop with a good internet connection is often a  popular place to work but beware of background distractions and noise levels.
  • Tabs: As you’re working with students you may begin displaying websites and other materials, before you know it, too many tabs are open that might slow down your connection so make sure you close out the ones you don’t need.
  • Background: If you have a window in the background, shut the blinds so that light doesn’t interfere.

Background: Be aware of what the student sees behind you. Try to have a professional view instead of clothes hanging in your closet or an unmade bed.

Follow-Up with Students

  • A follow-up email of things covered in session and “next steps” is often helpful to students.
  • Leave time after each session to record counselor notes and update reason codes
  • Be realistic about what can be covered in an online session and be prepared to schedule another online session.
  • Turn your computer off and clear your cache every night.

Don't Forget the Little Things

  • Don’t forget the little things like removing your camera cover and charging your computer and turning the volume up on your speakers.
  • Consider whether you need to allow extra time for online counseling sessions due to technical situations that may arise.

Address Equity Challenges

 

Support Students or Faculty Who Need Access to a Device


Individuals and families that meet eligibility requirements can receive a computer for free or very low cost from these organizations:

  • PCs for People refurbish desktop and laptop computers for distribution to eligible recipients.
  • Computers for Classrooms provide guaranteed working computers with the software installed for senior citizens, low-income families and those who cannot afford to buy new ones.
  • Computers with Cause provides gifted computers to eligible applicants.
  • The On It Foundation provides free computers along with computer training and Internet access to low-income families.

Support Students or Faculty Who Need Access to the Internet

  • The CVC-OEI list of Reduced Cost or Free Internet Access.
  • The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has compiled a list of current offers from Internet Service Providers (ISP) that will help low-income households to acquire service at low or no cost. Most have eligibility limitations linked to income or program enrollment. The list also includes established, nationally available low-cost plans offered by nonprofit organizations. 

What About Data Caps on Mobile Service?

Sprint and T-Mobile are the only mobile providers to have lifted data caps for mobile phones entirely (for 60 days). Data caps for the two companies’ hotspots have not been eliminated, but both are providing hotspot customers with an extra 20 GB of monthly data for two months.

Get Help with Working Remotely

Get Tech Ready

You should perform a “tech check” of your devices, Internet, software and software skills. If the campus is closed and you must support students, do you have what you need to work remotely?

Resources


Check out these LinkedIn Learning resources and courses related to working remotely. All California Community Colleges employees have free access to LinkedIn Learning via the Vision for Success Center.