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If you have never participated in an academic coaching appointment, welcome! Our coaches are eager to meet you and look forward to helping you make and meet your goals. Academic coaching provides an opportunity to establish new routines and develop new skills while charting your progress along the way.

Preparing for the appointment

How will you arrange your space, avoid distractions and interruptions, and ensure the amount of privacy you want for your meeting? Are there any materials you want to have on hand, whether to screen share or to show your coach on camera? Conversely, is there anything you’d like to keep out of sight? If you are new to Zoom, check out handout on using Zoom for tips on preparing to meet online!

What do you want to get out of the appointment?

As with any academic coaching meeting—over Zoom or in person—it will be helpful to consider your “end goal” for the meeting. Consider making a list of the top three priorities you hope to discuss with your coach and keeping the list on a pad of paper or a sticky note beside your computer. To help come up with your list, you can check out our Goal Tracker worksheet.

How will your coach get to know you?

To make your Zoom coaching session as much like an in-person session as possible, you can turn on your video camera to share your face and nonverbal cues with your coach. Are there other things want to share with your coach about who you are and what is important to you? If you’re unsure what to share, start with our Wheel of Life activity!

How do you brainstorm best?

Since academic coaching is a collaborative endeavor, it always involves brainstorming with your coach. If your favorite methods of brainstorming involve writing or drawing, you can prepare by making sure you have your tools at hand.

  • If your preferred tools are digital, how can you prepare to share them? You can prepare to screen share by opening any documents or applications you may want to show your coach and by closing any windows or tabs you don’t want your coach to see.
  • If you prefer to write by hand, you can prepare by keeping a whiteboard or notebook nearby. If you want to share what you’ve written by hand with your coach, you can always hold it up to the camera!

How will you keep track of the conversation?

Do you get more out of conversations when you focus exclusively on the here and now, or do you find it helps you later if you have taken notes? If you plan to take notes, will you use a notebook? A digital device? Make a plan for how you will keep track of the ideas you generate during the appointment.

After the appointment

By the end of your academic coaching appointment, you will have likely set some short term and long(er) term goals. Your coach will summarize these goals in a session note that you can review in the “My History” section of the appointment calendar.

How will you remain accountable to your goals?

How you will ensure that you remain on track with these goals? Will you tell a friend or set up a return coaching appointment? Many students find having an “accountability buddy” helpful, and that could be as simple as setting up a recurring Zoom meeting with a friend that allows you to work on homework at the same time together. You can also try using our Weekly Action Plan to help stay on track.

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