What is a Success Coach and What Do They Do?
by Christine Nelson
August 20, 2020
Success coaches are a relatively new role on college campuses. They may be called an academic coach, achievement coach, retention coach, life coach, or leadership coach. These roles were commonly seen in business models and K-12 education before entering the higher education landscape in the early 2000’s. For a competency-based style of learning, this position proves to be vital in student academic success, retention, and completion of programs.
So, what exactly does a success coach do?
How is Lourdes incorporating this position into CBE programs?
In general, what does a Success Coach do?
- Inspire and motivate
- Connect students to campus and community resources
- Utilize program analytics to monitor student progression
- Provide non-academic support
- Build community
- Identify student’s strengths and goals to create personal plan of action for the completion of the program
- Serve as a liaison between students, faculty, and Academic Success Center Staff
What are some examples of how they can help you?
- Your coach may not be an expert in your chosen field, but they are trained in the online, competency-based education format and the requirements of your program.
- Your coach may help you with several situations, including:
- Building confidence and maintaining a positive outlook
- Keeping you engaged with course content to ensure successful completion of your program
- Assist with time management skills and study strategies
- Managing education, work, and other priorities
- Connecting with campus resources and departments, such as the Academic Success Center, financial aid, or campus ministry
- Holding you accountable to your goals by analyzing course progression data
How is a Success Coach different than an academic/program advisor?
While both positions have similar qualities, there are important distinctions to each.
- An academic/program advisor helps to establish a plan of study, enroll in courses, major/minor selection, etc. It is typically required to meet with an advisor prior to course registration.
- A success coach helps with all non-academic needs. They are a source of accountability and motivation to complete objectives and goals. By monitoring students’ progression through courses alongside building personal relationships, a success coach has a holistic view of how a student is doing. They work in conjunction with faculty to ensure student success.
How do Success Coaches communicate with students?
- Through email, phone, Brightspace, Skype/Zoom, face-to-face (following COVID-19 guidelines), and more! Communication is individualized based off what each student needs and is comfortable with.
How is a Success Coach at Lourdes unique?
- The success coach incorporates the Lourdes values of community, learning, service, and reverence in their interactions with students.
- The success coach’s sole responsibility is to work with CBE students and faculty.
- A flexible and personalized communication plan will be followed for each student, with adjustments made as needed.
- Committed to the mission and vision of CBE programs, the success coach continually researches best practices to implement into their role.
What does the Success Coach love about their role?
- Being able to work one-on-one with students and help with their journey is a privilege.
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