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“A student's self-esteem has a significant impact on almost everything she does -- on the way she engages in activities, deals with challenges, and interacts with others. Self-esteem also can have a marked effect on academic performance. Low self-esteem can lessen a student's desire to learn, her ability to focus, and her willingness to take risks. Positive self-esteem, on the other hand, is one of the building blocks of school success; it provides a firm foundation for learning” - Dr. Ken Shore

Academic coaching is focused on helping students achieve their academic goals through goal setting, encouragement, motivation, structure, and individualized meetings. Available for students in Grade 9 through postsecondary, Evoke academic coaches support clients to help them establish those goals, define their learning objectives, find their own solutions, and follow their plans through to completion. Students are supported in experimenting and practicing with approaches and strategies to help them identify what works best for them. Depending upon individual student needs, coaches may also provide education about executive function (EF) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Coaching techniques are often effective for students who struggle academically; individuals diagnosed with learning disabilities, ADHD, and/or giftedness; and students with extraordinary goals. Coaching is student-driven, based on each student’s definition of success. Coaches serve as facilitators of that success, helping students draw upon their own self-understanding and resourcefulness to create systems that will work for them. The techniques used in coaching often provide students with the balance of support and challenge they need in order to learn. Many students respond more positively to coaching techniques than to traditional learning strategies. Simply put, coaching paves the way for learning to occur.

The academic coaching process involves an initial appraisal of student goals and the skills needed to achieve them. Central to the coaching effort is regular contact to set weekly academic goals, identify roadblocks or challenges to achieving those objectives, and create a plan of action aligned with the goals. Ultimately, academic coaching increases self-awareness that allows students to dig deeper to discover what is getting in the way for them, and provides the support and focus required to persevere at studies, complete a degree, and effectively manage transitions.

Academic coaching increases self-awareness, improves the overall learning experience for the student, and focuses on the development of a set of skills that will serve an individual throughout their career and in life. The process enriches the student experience by elevating their engagement, and ideally impacts student retention rates at college or university.

Effective academic coaching closes the gap between ability and achievement. It helps the student understand their individual learning preferences, negotiate their deficits, and manage their exceptionality. In addition, coaching can offer these benefits:

  • Encourage effort and progress
  • Assist students in meeting their academic goals
  • Help students develop greater self-awareness and decision-making ability
  • Facilitate order and balance at home and in school
  • Minimize frustration, decrease negativity, and help students change their perspective when they feel “stuck”
  • Improve specific skills such as time management, staying on task, meeting deadlines, transitioning, and learning strategies
  • Empower students to influence their environment and advocate for their needs
  • Help decrease anxiety and stress, especially during exams and tests
  • Assist students in identifying their positive characteristics and appreciate their strengths

Students come to coaching for help in these areas:

  • Assistance with planning and prioritizing
  • Increasing their ability to follow through on tasks and plans
  • Understanding and sustaining motivation
  • Study skills development
  • Strengthening initiation
  • Reducing procrastination
  • Managing long-term assignments
  • Balancing academics and personal demands