We have a couple of students working on the SCC. They have set up a shared calendar (at google) to reserve time slots and the "w" command on the MCPC shell also helps to check if somebody else might use the machine at the moment. However, your approach is interesting, because it allows much more fine-grained access.
Are you interested in adding other programming models for many-core programming to your course? We use TACO, which provides very fast remote method invocations on global object pointers (a little bit similar to X10). It runs quite nicely on the SCC as well as normal PCs and clusters.