Academic Coaching FAQ

What is Academic Coaching?

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.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Please contact our front desk at 515-294-6624 to schedule an appointment.

How much does Academic Coaching cost?

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

Which topics will be covered in an appointment?

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.

What happens if I'm not able to keep my appointment?

We understand circumstances arise, however in order to maximize the number of students we serve through academic coaching appointments you will not be allowed to miss or cancel more than two appointments per semester. If this occurs we will be unable to schedule appointments for you for the remainder of the semester. If you cancel at least 24 hours prior to your appointment it will not be noted as a canceled appointment.

What benefit can Academic Coaching provide me?

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 here.

Does coaching require a long-term commitment?

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.

What can I do to prepare for my appointment?

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.

Who will be my academic coach?

Academic Coaches are graduate students. 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.

Do I have to be failing to receive academic coaching?

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.

How can I become more involved with the Academic Coaching program?

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.

Is this tutoring or Supplemental Instruction?

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.

Is this counseling?

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.

Do I have to be a full-time undergraduate student?

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