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"In just a few sessions with Polly, I was able to clear the decks of all of the things holding me back from selecting my future career and major. I expected coaching to be hard but it was really fun!"

- Elizabeth R., Student Success Coaching Client

Student Success Coaching

54% of college students drop out due to an inability to balance school and life (jobs etc). 28% of first year college students don't re-enroll for their sophomore year. 12% of college students enroll at a new school for their sophomore year. What happens in that first year that creates such high numbers? In short, A LOT! In a recent survey that I conducted of first year college students, nearly 89% reported issues that they would not discuss with parents, school professionals, or friends that caused them deep distraction from their academic workload (e.g. Victims of sexual aggression, alcohol or drug use, issues with friends/roommates). 24% of those surveyed dropped out or changed schools after their first year. 94% said they wished they had had a confidential coach to speak with during their first year.

Student Success Coaching

As with anyone starting something new, students face a variety of challenges when embarking on a new educational journey at the college level whether it's in an on-campus environment or in an online program. With so many facets to the experience, it can leave students feeling isolated, lost, or uncertain about their choices.

With support, they do not have to remain stuck in those feelings!

Many new college students report that, in the first semester in particular, the hardest things to navigate are:

  • Social issues (Dormitory life, roommate situations, sex, dating, relationships and finding like-minded friends)Adjusting to the college course structure and intensity of the work
  • Managing time to meet all academic, personal and social commitments without stress
  • Degree and major selection or re-selection (Two year, four year, or masters degree and the major for each degree)
  • Holding accountability (Going to class regularly, follow through with commitments etc)
  • Managing self-care appropriately (Eating well, resting, getting exercise)
  • Navigating feelings of "Did I choose the right school/program?" (If the impression of the campus/program is different after getting started)

In the online sphere, there are additional issues such as:

  • Disconnection from a college community
  • Feeling isolated from teaching staff and/or classmates
  • Uncertainty of what support services are available to online students

Given all of the adjustments happening, particularly in the first year of the college experience, it's little wonder why so many students don't reach their academic potential, consider transferring to another school, or leave school altogether.

Student Success Coaching provides support to students that might not be accessible to them from advisors, friends, or parents. College freshman report trying to "muscle through" the challenges for fear of letting down their parents, mentors, or friends. Many are reluctant to share that they are struggling because they have the impression that the adjustments necessary to settle into college are easy for everyone else.

Frequently Asked Questions
about Student Success Coaching

Q: Is a Student Success Coach the same as a Tutor?

A: No. A tutor will work with a student on course-specific content while a coach will help the student to develop over-arching skills to be successful in any class regardless of subject. Additionally, I will work with students on social, emotional, adjustment, and other types of concerns. When appropriate, I will refer students to campus resources such as advisors, counselors, professors etc.

Q: How will my student meet with you as his/her Student Success Coach?

A: I will meet with them via phone or video chat service. Depending on his/her location, in-person sessions might be available.

Q: How often with my student meet with you?

A: Initially we will meet once per week for at least the first 6 t0 8 weeks. After that, we will meet at least once per month. Most students prefer twice per month meetings at least through the first term. I am also available via email and for short phone check-ins between sessions as needed.

Q: Will my student be lost in a sea of other coaching clients?

A: No. I am very careful to only take on a certain number of clients per term so that I can be available and accessible. The goal is to develop a relationship so that when s/he is stuck or struggling, s/he knows that contacting me can help move them forward.

Q: Who pays for a Student Success Coach?

A: I typically contract with parents or students directly. Some organizations offering scholarships are willing to pay for coaching to ensure student success. Financial aid money distributed to students for expenses can be used for coaching as well.

Q: Will you keep me informed of my child's progress?

A: I am accredited by the International Coaching Federation and as such, I adhere to its Code of Ethics including its confidentiality expectations. I will not share information directly with parents of students but will encourage the student to share his/her learning and progress with his/her parents. Parents frequently notice changes with their student. Many comment that their student seems more settled, more mature, and better able to handle challenging situations.

Q: Do you only work with traditional-aged students?

A: I work with college students regardless of age. My oldest college student was 68 years old. Her goal was to show her grandkids that it's always possible to keep learning and growing. Regardless of age, I will work with each student to understand his/her goals, motivation, strengths, and areas of challenge.

Q: How long will you work with a student?

A: For a student's first year, I typically contract from the time of acceptance in their senior year of high school through the end of the first year in college. This is because during the course of the first year, there are multiple points in the cycle where a student experiences new challenges and is potentially at greater risk. Beyond the first full year, I contract on a per term basis. Payment is due at the beginning of each contract term.

Q: What if my student withdraws from school during the contract?

A: Obviously the goal is to set the student up for success by providing the support that s/he needs to be successful in school. However, sometimes they discover that the choice they have made is not the right fit. If that is the case, my skills as a coach are very broad and we would simply shift from "Student Success Coach" to "Life Coach". Because my services are pre-paid for the duration of the contract, I will continue to work with the client to discover her/his nexts steps. Whether it's to re-enroll in school, transfer to a new school or program, or determine another opportunity to reach her/his goals, I will help him/her to think through options and move forward.

Q: Does it matter what type of school the student is in?

A: No. All students face challenges when starting something new whether it's a training program, technical school, college or university, or online program. All students are welcome.

Q: Do you work with high school seniors?

A: Yes. I work with high school seniors from the time that they have been accepted to a school or schools. If, for example, a student is having a difficult time choosing between multiple schools that s/he has been accepted to, I can work with them to help narrow the choices and make a decision. Students report that the "Acceptance phase" (defined as the period between acceptance and the first day of school) is a peak time of stress and uncertainty during which having a coach is helpful. I am not a college counselor so I don't necessarily help with the application process. 

Q: How much does Student Success Coaching cost?

A: Just as each student is unique, so are the investment structures for support. Please contact me to set up a free consultation to determine your student's needs and learn about the prices.

To set up a free consultation, please click the "Learn More" button.

Please get in touch to see how I can help!

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