At NWCS each of our students are paired with a 3-person team consisting of a therapist, life coach and education coach. Each of these team members play an important role in the students life and help them accomplish a number of distinct but equally valuable goals. Many of our students come to the program with educational support as their main focus so they can learn healthy habits surrounding school and ultimately become self-sufficient learners. Our students’ academic goals vary and have included wanting to finish high school or complete a GED, pursue bachelors and masters degrees or complete technical or vocational programs. Our education coaches are well versed in each of these paths and can assist along each step of the way. As well as assisting with registration, class selection and communication with important faculty and school administration, our education coaches help teach a number of important skills needed for academic success. Through weekly meetings tailored to each student’s specific goals and needs, our education team facilitates one-on-one coaching experiences that provide students with a variety of resources, tools and skills to help them develop not only academically, but professionally and personally as well. While it differs from student to student, some of the skills taught most frequently are –
- Goal setting – When a semester begins, our education coaches may sit down with a student and have them set goals for how they want the term to go. This may include what grades they are aiming for in their classes, campus or community activities they would like to be involved in or relationships they are hoping to develop. Coaches can provide weekly check-ins and midterm and semester reviews to help the students stay on track and brainstorm ways they can help them to accomplish their goals.
- Time Management – Creating and maintaining a schedule, establishing priorities and developing self-motivation and focus are a few of the time management skills we work to cultivate within our students. We utilize various calendar and planner tools, experiential exercises and worksheets, and accountability from the whole team to encourage this development.
- Reading and Writing Skills – Many high school and college students struggle with grade appropriate reading and writing skills. Our coaches recognize this and have reading strategies available that can lead to higher retention and understanding. When it comes to writing academically our coaches are there to help with every aspect of the writing process, from research, crafting a paper with an appropriate thesis statement and conclusion and how to cite sources properly.
- Study Strategies, Test-Taking and Preparation – Being able to study effectively and efficiently is crucial for academic achievement. Our coaches provide students with resources and strategies that enable them to study successfully for different types of tests and subjects. Test-taking can then prove to be the most difficult facet of the college experience for many students, so our coaches help them develop tools against test anxiety and how to properly approach and then tackle their exams.
Some other skills and topics that our education coaches cover with our students are –
- Understanding their GPA and degree progress
- Communicating with professors and advisors
- Financial aid, loans, scholarships and work-study
- Transferring to different schools and universities
- Career and personal development
- Creating a four-year plan
- Motivation techniques
- SAT/ACT prep
- Listening and note-taking strategies
- Navigating a college campus, resources and facilities
- Working with others in an academic environment