Academic coaching can be a valuable resource to help individuals reach their academic goals. An academic coach is someone who is there to offer expertise and guidance in sorting through academic challenges and help the individual develop strategies to proactively approach academic success. Through developing time management skills, successful study practices, and improved academic performance, our academic coaches can offer people the support they need in organizing their academic commitments and expectations. For those interested in taking a proactive role in their academic development, academic coaching is an effective tool for finding academic success.
Learning Academic Skills Early
Middle school is a time to learn how to learn and develop high school readiness skills. Over the 2 to 3 years of middle school, students engage their executive functioning skills in a more integrated way, as compared to life in elementary school. Most students naturally integrate their executive functioning skills in middle school and assimilate to the different expectations of changing classes, completing more homework, and preparing for more short and long-term assignments. Many other students need direct and explicit instruction and coaching on how to integrate executive functioning strategies to manage these new academic demands and the new learning processes.
Literacy Gap and Executive Function Skills
Too many children are behind in their reading and writing skills. Dr. Murphy shares the impact 1:1 computing has on literacy skills and on note-taking and metacognition. Reading is a building block of academic skills, study skills, and metacognitive skills. The more time our kids read, the better these skills become. Unfortunately, children are reading less and less. Their lives are consumed with other activities that take away the downtime needed to embrace reading. Pro-Parenting with Dr. Murphy. My Child Doesn't Read
Benefits of Working with an Academic Coach
Students develop skills to manage the learning process:
- Learning strengths and weaknesses
- Note-taking - typed vs. handwritten
- Organization - handouts and notes
- Working memory strategies - nonverbal and verbal
- Metacognitive strategies - self-advocating / problem solving / self-reflecting
- Homework habits - initiating, tracking, prioritizing, monitoring
- Active studying through self-testing
- Growth mindset - 'work smarter, not harder' / 'Zero Zeros.'
"Working with my coach, I felt like I was working smarter, not harder, for the first time in my life." - Jake, a high school sophomore who struggled to manage the learning process. Through the academic coaching process, Jake learned to take notes, track assignments, and develop a 'Zero Zero' mindset. He is now attending Northeastern University School of Engineering.
EEC Academic Coaching
EEC Coaches know that Effective Homework Habits Are The Building Blocks of Study Skills. By starting with foundational academic skills, students learn individualized executive functioning skills to consistently organize, plan, and initiate on a daily basis the academic demands. The academic coaching process starts with defining educational goals and engaging each student's intrinsic motivation for school and learning. Students then understand their priorities related to their personal and academic goals and responsibilities.
This is followed by helping each student develop consistent organizational processes to manage the flow of materials.
- Design an adequate learning space and then create a method to track the flow of homework, classwork, handouts, and written notes.
- Learn how to use a planner to track daily homework assignments, and prioritize and initiate a successful homework routine.
- Develop and practice active note-taking, active reading, active listening, and active study strategies.
Order the best academic planner for the busy middle schooler or high schooler.
What is an Academic Coach?
Coaches take a strength-based approach to help students adopt strategies that work for their learning style, academic strengths, and motivation. When clients have a clear roadmap, it becomes easier to engage the metacognitive skills needed to solve problems, plan, self-advocacy, and learn.
EEC Coaches use a process called Activated Learning to help students develop and practice these critical skills - necessary for thriving in school and life.
Active note-taking is the most effective process for managing the attentional challenges related to ADHD. This can help during lectures or while reading non-preferred assignments. The Cornell Note-taking System is the best note-taking process for students.
However, note-taking is a personal process, and students must practice and learn what works for them. Handwritten note-taking is the best process for learning as it engages more senses and allows for more engaging active note-taking strategies like adding diagrams, images, and thought bubbles. However, too many students have lagging writing fluency and penmanship skills to keep up with the pace of note-taking.
Building note-taking skills take practice. Unfortunately, too many schools gave students a laptop, stopped teaching note-taking skills, and left students to fall behind in developing his important skill for the management of learning.
Academic Coaching for Student Athletes
An EEC Academic Coach helps build the student into an effective, high-performing student-athlete.
A Certified EEC Academic Coach specializes in helping students develop effective active learning strategies, study tools, consistent routines, and the growth mindset to be an effective student-athlete. To be a successful student-athlete, students need to learn the academic skills to excel on and off the turf.
Many middle schools and high school students are enrolled in highly competitive club programs, like club lacrosse, club hockey, club basketball, or club soccer. They start at an early age and well before pre-requisite academic skills have been established. They receive exceptional coaching to perfect their athletic skills. Sadly, academic skills are ignored and most students are left alone to figure this out.
For student-athletes, the coaching process is similar to the academic coaching process but far more complex. This is because student-athletes have far less free time and energy to manage their academics. Nevertheless, they are still required to prepare, learn, and complete the same amount of short and long-term assignments.
Dr. Murphy shares 5 things that all high-performing student-athletes know!
Academic Life Coaching in College Readiness Skills
For students in high school or college, there are seven domains of college readiness skills that an Academic Coach helps students develop as they make the transition to a successful life after high school. Typically, most students use their high school years to build the academic skill and life skills required to thrive in whatever goals they want to achieve after high school. There are many post-high school options for young adults to consider.
Whether you are interested in a career in the military, trade schools, gap year, community college, or a transition 4-year college degree, there are options that fit the strengths and goals of most high school graduates. Since most high school students are enrolled in college preparatory classes and strive to attend a 4 year college, it's necessary to help students develop their college-readiness skills. This includes the academic skills, executive function skills, and life skills necessary to make a successful transition to college life.
Is your child ready for college? Sign up and receive this College Readiness Quiz and discuss the results with your child.
Academic Coaching FAQ’s
What is academic coaching?Academic coaching is an invaluable academic intervention resource that can help enhance academic success in any academic journey. It involves working with an academic coach - a professional, who understands the needs of a student in their academic pursuits and can provide personalized academic guidance in the area of homework habits, study skills, active reading and writing strategies. The academic coach strives to maintain the student's existing level of enthusiasm and drive while motivating them to stay focused on achieving their educational goals. An academic coach works closely with the student to raise self-confidence, self-efficacy, and encourage goal achievement by forming an individualized learning plan for success. Through structured check-ins and ongoing academic monitoring, a successful academic coach can have a lasting impact on students' academic experiences and futures.
What is the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan?An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and a 504 plan are two distinct documents that serve different academic needs. An IEP is typically used for students with disabilities and is required in the US by federal law through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It outlines academic goals, accommodations, modifications, and services designed to meet the academic needs of a student. On the other hand, a 504 plan is designed for any student with a disability or condition that may adversely affect their academic performance; it does not require federal law compliance and does not provide academic coaching as an option. Instead, it outlines modifications as well as any necessary supports such as academic coaching from an outside academic coach. In conclusion, an IEP requires federal compliance and provides academic coaching while a 504 plan gives permission to access certain resources but does not provide academic coaching.
What 504 accommodations are common in college?College students with academic difficulties often take advantage of 504 accommodations to help them access the learning. Common academic adjustments include extended test times, extra academic coaching, copy of class notes, reading/writing support, and preferential seating in the classroom. Academic coaches are especially beneficial; by meeting regularly with a coach, students can get one-on-one academic advice and the support they need to reach their academic goals. Similarly, college instructors can adjust their teaching style to maximize the academic success of their students with more personalized attention. With 504 accommodations in place, college students have an improved chance of succeeding in their academic endeavors.
What are the best colleges for ADHD?ADHD can be a considerable academic challenge, but with the right support, your academic goals remain achievable. Colleges that offer academic coaching and other specialized services may be an especially good fit if you have ADHD. Academic coaches are trained in helping students identify strategies to maximize academic performance and address any ADHD-related challenges they might face. Look for accredited universities/colleges that offer academic support as well as programs specifically tailored for students with ADHD; these campuses will likely have experienced academic coaches on staff. Ultimately, choosing a college that offers knowledgeable academic advice is more likely to result in success for those with ADHD.
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