3 Ways Academic Coaches Help Creighton Grad Students Succeed
Deciding you’re ready to go to graduate school is a big deal. It’s exciting to embark on this new experience but starting something new can also be stressful. From getting acquainted with new platforms and processes to finding support resources and staying on track to graduation, there’s a lot to keep tabs on.
At Creighton University, you won’t have to navigate your education journey by yourself. Our student support service professionals — including academic coaches — are dedicated to helping you succeed in graduate school. Keep reading to learn what an academic coach is and how you’ll benefit from working with one.
What is an academic coach?
While the definition and duties vary depending on the institution, Creighton University’s academic coaches are responsible for monitoring overall progress and helping you stay on track to complete your degree. Academic coaches build personal relationships with students and are there to guide them every step of the way. You’ll be matched with a coach who will support you from the beginning of your program all the way through graduation.
Now that you know more about this important role, let’s explore three of the many ways academic coaches can help you have an enriching experience and complete your degree.
3 Ways Academic Coaches Help You Succeed
To better understand this unique position, we sought expert insight from Tara Koth, academic coach for the Creighton University College of Nursing. She specializes in graduate-level programs and has supported hundreds of students throughout her career.
1. Serve as the main point of contact for new students
One of the first emails individuals receive after enrolling at Creighton University is from their academic coach. They are responsible for welcoming students to the school, assisting in course registration and setting them up for any orientation. This includes an online module where students will:
- Explore the University’s Jesuit, Catholic history and Ignatian values
- Learn about the culture of scholarship and its basis in the standards of academic integrity
- Become familiar with the online learning management system (BlueLine)
- Gain an understanding of the tools and services available throughout the University
“Students appreciate having a point person that can give them reassurance and help them navigate everything,” Koth shares. “We’re always available to answer questions and connect with them individually.” She adds that academic coaches strive to ensure students feel valued as a person and important member of the Creighton community.
2. Serve as liaisons between students and campus resources
A big part of an academic coach’s job is answering questions and connecting students with available services on campus, online or in the community. No matter what you’re struggling with — time management, sub-par grades, academic writing, finding an internship — your academic coach will do their best to find appropriate support.
Examples of resources and services:
- Mental health counseling
- Writing center
- Academic success coordinator
- VIP Center
- Faculty advisors
- Financial Aid Office
- Resume workshops
- Job search assistance
- Alumni mentors
- Student accessibility services
According to Koth, some students make the mistake of waiting too long to reach out for help. “It’s really hard when students are struggling yet don’t say anything until the end of the semester,” she explains. “We always encourage them to let us know as soon as they can about an issue, because it’s probably something we can fix together.”
3. Help students stick to degree plans even when life gets in the way
While the typical teenage undergraduate might be struggling with living on their own or choosing a major, graduate students have their own unique challenges. Many are adults who work full-time and raise families, which are important responsibilities in their own right.
Koth has worked with college students of all ages and backgrounds, and she notes that it is fairly common for graduate scholars to take a semester off at some point. This can be due to a variety of factors such as illness, mental health, caretaking for a loved one, a new baby, relocation or other life events.
Not only do academic coaches assist you in mapping out your path to graduation, but they also help you adjust it when necessary. Taking a semester off from graduate school doesn’t have to derail your path. With planning and communication, your academic coach can help you stay on track and graduate while still honoring your other life commitments.
Support every step of the way
It’s true that succeeding in grad school requires plenty of hard work, but Creighton University students don’t have to go at it alone. You can have confidence knowing you’ll have a dedicated academic coach in your corner.
“I love what I do,” Koth says. “I get to work with students every day and help them reach their educational goals. It’s so rewarding to see all their efforts pay off when they graduate.”
It’s important to evaluate your options and seek out programs that give you the support needed to thrive. If you’re still on the hunt for the right grad school, take some time to learn about the nationally recognized online graduate degree programs at Creighton University.
Ready to take the next steps? Visit our How to Apply page today!