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Counseling for Online Students FAQ

Online Counseling Network

What is the Online Counseling Network?

The Online Counseling Network (CCC-OCN) is a partnership among participating counselors at California Community Colleges who wish to provide high quality online counseling. The OCN is focused on ensuring that California Community College counselors have the training, resources, relevant techniques and practices to effectively counsel students in a virtual environment. 

Does the Online Counseling Network provide direct services?

The OEI does not provide direct services to students. All OEI resources (OCN) are made available to California Community Colleges. If you are a student attending a community college in California and want to know if your college is using OEI resources, please contact  your college directly.

What are the counseling resources provided?

The OEI Online Counseling Network is providing the following resources to California Community Colleges:

-Online Counseling Community

-Online Counseling Training Course

-Online Counseling Platform

Who participates in the OCN Workgroup?

OEI leadership

Statewide Counseling Faculty

ASCCC Appointed Counseling Faculty

Student Services Staff

Student Services Administrator

California Community Colleges Tech Center

Online Counseling Course

The OCN workgroup in partnership with @ONE have developed an online counselor training course that adheres to the National Board of Certified Counselors standards and practices for promoting quality assurance and professionalism in distance counseling services.

Is there a Course Description?

 In this course, experienced counselors will learn strategies and techniques for fostering successful online counseling sessions. Participants will learn to use the various e-learning and communication tools within Cranium Cafe, powered by ConexED, the online meeting and collaboration platform selected by the Online Education Initiative (OEI). The course will help counselors hone the skills required to provide counseling services in the online environment. The course also reveals new means and opportunities for counselors to assist off campus students with their career, educational and personal goals as they attempt to successfully complete college. 

What is the time commitment?

 Each week the counselor can realistically spend 3-4 hours on the module for that week. Completion of the course is the goal. There is no monitoring of the number of hours logged, but rather counselors will be required to complete assignments which allows them access to theory and practice sessions within Cranium Cafe powered by ConexED with fellow counselors. A facilitator will be available each Saturday of the 5 weeks to discuss the exercises and activities of the course.  

When is the course offered and how do I register?

 Counselors will only receive the invitation to participate in the training and course, once their college has fully implemented Cranium Cafe powered by ConexED in their system. Two of the following: LMS, CANVAS/OTHER, SINGLE SIGN ON.

Counselors will also need to complete the Cranium Cafe powered by ConexED Technical Training prior to starting the OCN Course.

(Please read the section on Cranium Cafe powered by ConexED Implementation for further details)

First Spring session: February 6th- March 10th

Second Spring Session: March 20th- April 21st

Third Spring Session: April 24th- May 26th 

What are the benefits of completing the Online Counseling Course?

 Counselors learn the fundamentals of providing counseling on an online platform. Counseling skills are enhanced by understanding the challenges and benefits of online counseling. Counselors become a part of an online counseling community which offers an opportunity to connect, support and learn from one another as a community. 

Can I earn graduate level credit if I complete the course?

Yes, all counselors who are enrolled in the 5 week Online College Counseling course have the option to earn graduate level credit. The Fresno Pacific University completed the evaluation and announced that it has been approved for Continuing Education Credit.

Counselor have the option to receive graduate credit or to opt out of receiving the credit for completing the counseling course.

For those who wish to take the course for credit, the course is 3 units and there is a fee of $210. The registration deadline will be provided once the counselor is enrolled in the course. Please visit the link below for more information.


Online Counseling Platform

Cranium Cafe powered by ConexED is designed especially with online students services in mind and replicates the style of on-campus counseling services. College counselors may use the platform to deliver quality online counseling services, similar to what they would experience on campus.

Can Cranium Cafe powered by ConexED integrate into my LMS?

Cranium Cafe powered by ConexED will integrate with CANVAS and most common LMS’s.

I understand that we do not need CANVAS to use Cranium Café powered by ConexED. However will we need CANVAS to participate in the pilot?

You do not need Canvas. The student access would be in two places your LMS whichever one, and through your student portal. You must have the Shibboleth sign on function so that students can be authenticated prior to scheduling an appointment.

Is there an asynchronous component to Cranium Cafe powered by ConexED?

In the current version no. However Cranium Cafe powered by ConexED is working on a new Interface which will have an offline contact option.

Is there an integration between Cranium Cafe powered by ConexED and SARS?

In order for Cranium Café to provide the best service to our students and meet the unique needs of the California Community College system; they have recently partnered with SARS.

SARS anywhere is an easy-to-use appointment scheduling system for students service offices. The scheduling component allows students to manage their own appointments and allows support service staff to make, reschedule and cancel appointments.