Academic Coaching FAQs

What is coaching?

Coaching is when a student and coach collaboratively work together to help the student manage her or his life as a college student. This entails students developing short and long-term goals with their coach to enhance their ability to make conscious and informed decisions about their college performance. Additionally, a coach helps students develop skills, knowledge and systems to complete tasks, assignments, and projects. Involvement with coaching includes regular one-to-one meetings and intermittent follow-up conversations by phone or email.

The areas that are focused on during coaching sessions are:

  • Time Management
  • Organization
  • Study Strategies
  • Test Taking
  • Motivation
  • Procrastination
  • Attention
  • Critical Thinking

Who benefits from coaching?

Many students can benefit from academic coaching, including those who:

  • feel overwhelmed by the work required to succeed in college
  • need help in developing better time management and organization skills.
  • easily procrastinate.
  • need to better understand how to get started on and complete a task.
  • feel more motivated and perform better when held accountable.

What a student can expect from the coaching experience?

  • Collaboration: Student and coach working together to solve problems. The coach teams up with the student to critically look at crucial situations, help develop appropriate skills, offer key information, and provide necessary feedback.
  • Knowledge Development: The acquisition and application of new and relevant information. Coaching allows for the development of concrete strategies and critical support systems and for the exploration of individual learning styles, memory, and organization.
  • Plan for Action: The development of a strategic plan for accomplishing goals. Coaching focuses on developing short and long term goals and providing necessary structure for the actualization of those goals. By establishing timelines, assigning tasks, and assuring follow-through to completion of goal, coaching helps students systematically change behavior and develop problem-solving skills.

What are the benefits of coaching?

  • Improved performance
  • Developing new and effective habits
  • Learning to make informed decisions
  • Accountability

Does coaching require a long-term commitment?

To change behavior and develop new skills, there are no quick fixes. Sustained effort and practice are necessary for a student to achieve long term and enduring change. We recommend that a student be prepared to commit to the coaching process for at least one semester. Continued contact with a coach will allow time to evaluate issues, create an action plan, and practice new behaviors.

Is coaching always successful?

One of the most important factors for successful coaching is a student's willingness to make changes in the way he or she does things. Often students believe that to do better means to do more. Unfortunately, being a successful student is not that simple. To have the best results from a coaching experience a student must be willing to critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses and to change methods of accomplishing tasks. The role of the coach in this process is to help monitor the student's progress toward changing behaviors and offer feedback.

Do I need anything to take part in academic coaching?

All students who take part in academic coaching are encouraged to use the Rinella Learning Center planner, offered in our office in Shriver Center 306 for $10. This planner is designed to help students better manage their time, course materials and assignments, and life responsibilities.