Academic Coaching Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Coaching can be defined as the one-on-one process of helping a student examine academic concerns and perceived barriers to success. Coaches provide students with semester-long academic support in areas such as time management, procrastination, test preparation, and note taking and reading strategies. They work individually with students, assess their strengths and needs, and devise a personalized plan of action.

Students may schedule an appointment through ISU appointments located in their AccessPlus account or they may contact our office at 515-294-6624.

Academic coaching is free and unlimited to all Iowa State University undergraduate and graduate students who are currently registered.

Any array of topics can be covered depending on your concerns. The first appointment will be a time to collect information and set goals. Future appointments will be guided by the student based on identified needs. Typically, coaches will reference handouts from the academic resources tab throughout appointments.

Due to the high demand of coaching appointments, students who no-show or cancel 2 or more appointments will not be eligible for Academic Coaching for the rest of the semester. You will be referred to workshops and resources to support you throughout the remainder of the semester. If you believe you have a reason that warrants additional review of this policy, you are welcome to contact your Academic Coach and they will review on a case-by-case basis. If you arrive 15 or more minutes late (virtually or in-person), the coach may ask you to reschedule your appointment. 

Many students experience an increase in their academic success as a result of working individually with a coach. More information about the program's assessment can be found on our main page.

If a student is voluntarily seeking academic coaching, they are not required to meet a particular number of times. We allow students to create their own plan of action and discuss the number of appointments desired based on goals. Our assessment shows students who meet for three or more appointments typically experience the best results in grade improvement.

We find students who come prepared with questions gain the most of out of their experience. More information on how to prepare can be found here.

We have both full time professionals, graduate students, and peer coaches who take coaching appointments. Coaches have excellent oral and written communication skills who are trained in evidence-based strategies to facilitate each session. Our current coaches' profiles can be found here.

No. Academic Coaching is open to all students who are seeking to improve their academic skills. Certain students may be required to attend academic coaching as a result of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status. Please contact our front desk at 515-294-6624 if you have questions about any requirement for coaching.

We hire undergraduate students each semester as Peer Ambassadors to represent the office at campus events and provide presentations. More information about the program can be found here.

No. Tutoring Services and Supplemental Instruction are course-based sources of support meaning they focus on individual classes. Academic Coaching is the process of developing general academic skills which can be applied to all courses.

No. The focus, style of conversation, and goals of academic coaching is very different than counseling. You are welcome to meet with an academic coach to discuss your concerns related to academics and our staff can refer you to Student Counseling Services, if needed.

No. Our coaches will meet with any Iowa State University undergraduate student or graduate student enrolled in any number of credits.