Academic Coaching Center Strives for Student Success

Struggling with a homework assignment? Don’t know how to study for a big upcoming test? Unsure of how to best manage your time to get everything done? If you find yourself saying yes to any of these questions, then it’s time to stop by the Academic Coaching Center.

Located in the basement fishbowl of Ludwig, the Academic Coaching Center is open Mondays-Thursdays from 4-10 pm and Sundays from 5-8 pm. The ACC offers free tutoring and coaching for a wide variety of subjects including calculus, biology, chemistry, communications, political science, accounting, sociology, psychology, and more. Chemistry, calculus, writing, and biochemistry are the most popular subjects for coaching, according to the ACC Director, Dr. Jennifer Boender. The ACC strives to cover tutoring for at least all general education courses by utilizing peer academic coaching. Peer coaching deals with the general academic development of students in a one-on-one setting. These student coaches will help other students manage their assignments and projects and keep them accountable by checking in with them each week. Students can receive assistance for pacing assignments, planning essays, study skills, time management, organizational skills, and other tasks related to general academic success. Students may also come to the ACC for specific homework questions or test preparation. The ACC is open to any student: freshman through senior, commuters, and transfers. Students should also know that they do not have to be failing a class to participate in peer coaching. Whether you are an A student looking for some additional test help or an F student looking to pull that grade up to passing, anyone is welcome to stop in during walk-in hours or set up an appointment.

This year, the ACC is implementing a brand new scheduling program in order to maximize appointments and get even more students the coaching they need at a time that works best for them. No longer do students have to be limited to their coach’s specific walk-in hours. Now, they can set up an appointment whenever both student and coach are available to meet. “In the past, the Academic Coaching Center has only been walk-in. I could see how, as a student, if you’re just walking past, seeing that many people in the room might be overwhelming, if not a bit off-putting,” says senior Alexis Trevino. Trevino is a psychology and sociology coach as well as a receptionist at the Academic Coaching Center. “Good news is, this year we’ve implemented a new scheduling program that makes it much easier to get one-on-one help.”

Students are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with an ACC coach through the my.olivet portal to ensure that a coach will be able to work with them one-on-one on a particular subject. The Academic Coaching Center can be found under Student Support. You can also find it by clicking here:

Photo by: Carlie Parpart

On the ACC portal page, students need to click on the link in the Appointments section of the page. Students will need to create an account the first time they access the program. Click here to create an account and set up an appointment: Students can select the subject they would like help with, see which coaches are available to work with them different days and times, and then sign up for an appointment. Walk-in hours are still available, however, students are not guaranteed that a coach will be able to work with them without making an appointment. Students should utilize the walk-in hours when they need unanticipated help as they complete homework or prepare for a project or test.

The ACC currently has 29 student workers and two adjunct faculty members who help with writing. They are now in the process of hiring additional student workers for tutoring subjects that they currently do not cover, such as physics and engineering. To become a coach for a subject within the ACC a student must be recommended by a faculty member and they must have completed the course they will be torturing with a final grade of a B or higher.

“My favorite aspect of being a coach at the ACC is the ability to form relationships with the students that come in regularly while also seeing their skills and knowledge grow throughout the year. I love watching students who may have been struggling with a class at the beginning of year transition to having a deep understanding of the material and no longer need to come in for help anymore because of how much they have grown,” Rebekah Johnson, senior anatomy and physiology (A&P) and nutrition coach said.

This is the Academic Coaching Center’s sixth semester of being open. When the ACC first opened, “The intention was to meet the broader needs of the student body,” Dr. Boender said. The university already had the Learning Development Center, but it served very specific populations of students. The ACC serves the entire student body. Many students utilize the ACC as a resource. Over 1,600 coaching sessions happened at the ACC over the last academic year and over 500 individual students utilized the ACC services, according to Dr. Boender, and with the implementation of the new scheduling program, that number should grow.

Dr. Boender started working as the Director for ACC last fall when the previous director retired. She thoroughly enjoys her job. “We have such a great team. The students who work down there are a lot of fun,” Dr. Boender said. Dr. Boender has great plans for the future of the ACC, as she sees the potential for growth and the benefit it can have for all students.

The mission statement of the ACC is: “The Academic Coaching Center (ACC) provides tutoring and academic coaching to undergraduate students across a myriad of subjects. We are a place of encouragement and hope; a place where students receive the support they need to achieve their academic goals. We believe learning is a developmental process that is never complete and thus tutors and coaches, recognizing the potential in all students, work to foster the independent learning skills of each student they encounter.”

Trevino echoes the mission. “I can promise you that the coaches at the ACC genuinely want you to succeed, but we can’t do that unless you come and see us.” If you’re interested in receiving coaching, set up an appointment on the portal or stop by the ACC in the basement of Ludwig to speak with a receptionist or coach.

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