University of California at Berkeley Geography Program Starts School Trend with Real-Time Student Support for International Student Recruiting and Academic Advising

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UC Berkeley extends academic support and the human connection to international students with the use of Cranium Cafe, a real-time student services software.

Real-Time Student Services - Online Academic Advising

UC Berkeley - Cranium Cafe

I quickly saw the potential and how Cranium Cafe could make advising possible for my advisees who are on Study Abroad or Graduate Students out of the country

Cranium Cafe today announced that UC Berkeley’s Geography Program has launched Cranium Cafe, a real-time student services software, to better connect with international students. The Cranium Cafe platform enriches learning by offering students a way to meet virtually with advisors, instructors, and tech support.

Marjorie Ensor, Academic Advisor and recent winner of a major NACADA award, learned about Cranium Cafe at a conference for academic advising. “Initially I thought this would be a great way to solve the problem we experienced with using Skype for Graduate Admissions Interviews for prospective PhD applicants this past January,” says Ensor. “But, I quickly saw the potential and how Cranium Cafe could make advising possible for my advisees who are on Study Abroad or Graduate Students out of the country conducting fieldwork.”

The department has begun using Cranium Cafe as a way for students to drop in for real-time walk-in meetings with advisors. Additionally, students can use Cranium Cafe to schedule and meet with their tech support team. The department is also implementing Cranium Cafe as a way for their graduate students and student teachers to meet with their students. “A big issue for us is space. We don’t have individual personal offices for all of our [grad] students… and that can be hard if you’re trying to have a one-on-one with a student and someone else is trying to work on a dissertation,” says Ensor. “Cranium Cafe is great alternative so they can still have office hours from their home.”

Following Marjorie Ensor’s lead, Cranium Cafe is also being adopted by UC Berkeley’s Earth & Planetary Science Program, the Berkeley Haas School of Business, and the Resource Center for Online Learning. Student served by these program will be able access virtual student support and meet one-on-one with tutors, advisors, teachers, and tech support by “knocking” on their virtual office doors.

“It’s truly been a pleasure to work with Marjorie’s team, and each additional department has been just as phenomenal to work with,” says CEO Tracy Gorham. “They’re incredibly committed to their students and to offering one-on-one support. We couldn’t be happier to have them as a part of the Cranium Cafe family.”

To learn more about real-time student support with Cranium Cafe and how you can implement it at your institution, visit the Cranium Cafe website.

About Cranium Cafe:
Cranium Cafe has developed a Real-Time Student Services platform to empower the human connection between students and their support team. The Cranium Cafe software recreates an in-office experience to off-campus students and was built to democratize personalized student support by offering real-time enrollment, advisement, tutoring, professor office hours, and career management meetings. This platform is cloud-based, FERPA compliant, and requires no download, installation, or special login. To learn more, visit

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Leslie Brown

Leslie Brown
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