As Academic Coaches, the primary deficit we see in our previous and current population is executive functioning. This includes: difficulty starting, planning, organizing and completing tasks, working memory, emotional self regulation, and self motivation. We as coaches help our students to identify these challenges and the creation of specific and measurable goals, which lead to the implementation of action and accountability. We thrive off of building meaningful relationships with each of our students, developing trust and a safe space for them to dive deeper into their own learning. We work on an individualized basis where we strive for each student to develop the following skills:

 

  • Organization: 

 

      • Developing a system that is specific to each individual. Including hygiene/physical self, apartment, backpack, assignments, notes, etc. Learning the current baseline of how each student organizes and implementing new strategies and routines.

 

  • Time Management:

 

      • Creating a Google Calendar to have a visual of all meetings, classes, study sessions, personal wellness, etc. As well as, built in reminders for extra accountability/awareness. 
      • Utilizing the google calendar in a way that the student can see each hour of the day and practice follow through, mindfulness, and self accountability. 

 

  • Consistency:

 

      • Utilizing a schedule that includes three, one hour weekly meetings with their Academic Coach,  along with groups, activities, classes, etc. By following a consistent schedule/routine, over time our students develop the skill of following through. They begin to recognize the benefits behind building a consistently followed, healthy routine and the empowering feeling that follows. 

 

  • Study Habits:

 

      • We begin by identifying how each student has previously studied, reflecting on how this worked for or against the result, and brainstorming/conducting new ways of learning. This can include the act of studying, what type of environment they best learn in, and identifying how long they can stay engaged before a study break is necessary. 
      • Like most students, we highly encourage breaking studying up into manageable chunks, by the hour and per day. We educate them on the negative effects around cramming and the positive benefits around breakdowns. 

 

  • Note Taking:

 

      • We work on encouraging each student to look into the academic mirror to identify what they already know about taking notes, what has/hasn’t worked in the past, when/what distracts them, and any coping that has worked previously. 
      • Brainstorming, self awareness, and trust is what this skill is built off of. What works for one student may not work for the other.

 

  • Planning:

 

      • This skill is utilized within the breakdown of items and obligations, into minimal, manageable tasks. We work to help our students identify large taks and create a plan of action, including breakdowns. Large assignments can feel overwhelming, which normally leads to avoidance. Creating a plan and breaking up our responsibilities, has proven to help students feel control and confidence in their work. 

 

  • Self Regulation:

 

      • Oftentimes with any college student, it is easy to become overwhelmed even by the smallest of tasks. We work to identify when this occurs, previously used negative strategies, and implement effective ways to build self awareness and follow through for recentering.

 

  • Advocating/Communication:

 

    • Having the self confidence to speak up for yourself, advocate, or simply just communicate, is different within every individual. We work to help each student build the confidence behind professor emails, setting appointments, phone calls, and more. These specific skills help transform the way students approach a variety of academic and life scenarios. 

 

Executive Functioning will continue to be a common theme for our student population. We as Academic Coaches will continue to support our students in identifying their strengths/weaknesses and the creation of sustainable and measurable plans. Over time, they will develop concrete skills that they can take with them through numerous walks of life. We thrive on our students building confidence, motivation, awareness of their true potential, and how the development of these academic skills will always enable them to succeed.