Beyond Book Smart: Helping College Students Improve Their Skills

26 Oct Beyond Book Smart: Helping College Students Improve Their Skills

BEYOND BOOK SMART: HELPING COLLEGE STUDENTS IMPROVE THEIR SKILLS

By Dr Edward Margines, Psychological Assistant at Prepare to Change

A study that included Chapman University students found that the academic coaching contributes to overall success. It’s not surprising, therefore, that professional counseling centers are sought out when colleges cannot meet the demand of their students who want to improve their skills and performance.  Providing students with the chance to work individually with professional academic coaches, Prepare to Change counselors are able to enhance their academic skills, gain confidence, discover motivation, and improve performance.  Academic Coaching students usually scheduled a 50-minute meeting every two weeks, depending on their individual need for developing skills in time management, goal setting, and test preparation.

Academic Coaching is gaining in popularity as fast as it is growing in terms of legitimacy. The goal of coaching in this case is simple, helping students improve their grades under the tutelage of a coach. What differentiates academic coaching from tutoring is that the latter is more subject specific; academic issues more often than not run deeper than simply not understanding one subject. The wide variety of academic challenges make the path towards success different for every student and coach.

As academic coaching is a relative new practice, it is not yet regulated. This means that the difference in quality of potential coaches is wide. One study found that executive coaches who had a background in Psychology performed significantly better than those who did not (Bozer, Sarros and Santora, 2014). This finding generalizes to academic coaching. Family relationships that can represent a hindrance to good grades (nagging, criticism, opposition) can be mitigated or even refined into helping behavior to alleviate stress and help the student.

The benefits of academic coaching for college students are clear across a wide range of student populations. One study at Florida State University found that academic coaching early in college helped students “commit and connect to college and increased graduation rates (Dalton and Crosby, 2014). A study conducted that included students from nearby Chapman University found “a 10-percent to 15-percent increase in retention rates among those who had received coaching and mentoring.” With the immense cost of college debt, this represents a solid investment in terms of helping more students get their degrees (Bettinger and Baker, 2011).

With regards to non-traditional (older) college students, coaching is also being increasingly utilized to help them prepare, apply and succeed in college (Simon, 2012). Coaches can have insights about what these schools are looking for in potential students and coaches can help tailor admissions essays and other areas of applications. Coaching doesn’t just end with entrance to college. Once in college, the coaches can help non-traditional students with a multitude of issues—from their reentrance to academia, to understanding new technologies, to the challenges of fitting into a cohort which is often very different to what they are used to.

Prepare to Change in Tustin, California offers academic coaching with experienced practitioners who have backgrounds in Psychology. Call Dr Edward Margines for a free consultation or more information at (949) 391-9871.

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