Counseling Department transitions their services online

As a result of Cosumnes River College suspending face-to-face interaction indefinitely, the counseling department has smoothly transitioned to online in an effort to help students sustain and reach their academic potential.

Department Chair of Counseling Ray Mapeso said the department has Virtual Private Network authorization, which enables counselors to access their desktops at the office while they are sheltered in at home with their personal desktop.

“If I needed documents or even access to eServices to do student educational plans or to look at transcripts, I could do that,” said Mapeso. “So essentially I could do everything at home that I was doing in my office.”

In order to conduct remote counseling with students, Mapeso said that they use an interface called Cranium Cafe, similar to Skype or Zoom, that the department gets free access to through the California Community College System.

Aside from the VPN and Cranium Cafe, Counseling Center Supervisor Eva Rhodes said that the official counseling email address has gone live and students can use this email to ask and get information on anything they need. 

“The staff and I are constantly checking those emails and responding to them pretty much in real-time,” said Rhodes. “I know on the website, it says 24 to 48 hours, but they are definitely usually responding within a couple of hours.”

Rhodes added that another prime resource the counseling department offers is crisis counseling. Crisis counseling is available on a daily basis and if needed, can either call or send an email.

“If they feel they need to talk to somebody right now, we can arrange for that to happen,” said Rhodes.

Mapeso and Rhodes also gave advice on how students can properly manage their time and stay on track after the switch to online.

“The number one thing I would recommend, is to create a schedule,” said Mapeso. “You’ve got to be disciplined and go to bed on time, wake up early, start a routine and just do that every day.”

Mapeso also said that if you search “distance education ” on the CRC website, that you can access a whole bunch of tutorials on how to access all sorts of distance education software like Zoom and Canvas. There is also a whole staff specifically dedicated to distance education.

Rhodes said staying in constant contact with instructors and being able to reach out to a counselor are the most important things for students to stay on track with online education.

“I think it’s super important that the students stay in touch with their instructors, and if they are finding that they’re struggling, they need to raise the flag, let their instructor know,” said Rhodes. “We have counselors available.”

To make an online counseling appointment, go to the CRC counseling page and either click on “Make a Counseling Appointment” in the center of the page, or click on “Make An Appointment” located on the left-hand side of the page. 

To contact counseling in regards to any questions or to access crisis counseling, call (916) 691-7316 or email [email protected].