Academic coaching program now available to all students

The Academic Coaching program is a new program designed to help students succeed in academics by assigning each student with an academic coach with whom they will work closely to become stronger academically.

The program, which is being managed through a joint effort by Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, is available to both students on academic probation, and those who would like to improve their academic performance. Tracey Gottlieb, Ph.D., Dean of Freshman Studies, says the purpose of the program is provide one-on-one help for students to improve their performance by working with a coach to develop more efficient study skills, time management, and to help with the student’s approach to academics. “Students sometimes need another voice to remind them of time management and give them an objective opinion,” Gottlieb said. “The coach is prepared to provide that for the student.”

Andrew Brereton, Ph.D., and an academic coach, said that working with students in the classroom is completely different than working with them one-on-one.

“You can really focus on what one person needs and therefore positive change can occur more quickly,” Brereton said. “It is extremely rewarding to positively impact a student’s life and see very immediate results.”

The program started with a smaller group of students last year, but has been made available to all students. Brereton said the biggest improvement they have at this point is to extend the “reach” of the program. “We need to get as many members of the faculty and administrators involved as possible,” Brereton said. “We also need to do more outreach to students so that they know about the program and appreciate what it can do for them.” “I have a heavy course load this semester and I would definitely appreciate having an academic coach who could help me balance my workload,” said Anthony Del Negro, a sophomore communications major. Another change being brought about in the program is how relations between academic coaches and students are formed. Gottlieb said that there is sometimes a problem getting coaches and students together. “Students sometimes feel awkward about the new relationship and are slow to follow up on the invitation to meet with their coach,” Gottlieb said. “Once that hurdle is overcome, however, we have seen very positive relationships develop and we have seen students improve their academic performance.” Gottlieb said that students and coaches are encouraged to reach out to each other throughout the semester, and meet with each other about once a week. Students with questions or interested in working with an academic coach can stop by the Academic Success Center in Mooney Hall Room 11 or call 973-275-2387 to be assigned a coach for the fall semester. Jessica Formichella can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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