Integrating Advising and Coaching

As contemporary college students navigate a complex world and strive to find their place in it, the role of advisor remains critical by providing an essential link connecting the student to the institution.

Course Description

The national focus on retention and graduation rates underscores the need for institutions to invest in comprehensive advising services that address the evolving needs of today’s diverse student population. One of the latest advances within the field of academic advising is the integration of advising with life coaching practices. Academic life coaching offers a framework for holistic support that extends far beyond course recommendations. Coaching activates motivation, invites engagement, and deepens self-awareness. Through collaboration and goal setting, students are empowered to overcome challenges that often interfere with progress and degree completion. Reflecting developmental advising theory, coaching incorporates essential elements describing high quality advising sessions: informational, relational, goal-oriented, integrative, holistic, and continuous. Shifting the paradigm from student as recipient to proactive participant, coaching heightens the student support experience.

Day one of this workshop will include:

  1. A theoretical overview of developmental advising and current research examining the student attrition crisis
  2. The critical role of the advisor as mentor and coach
  3. The academic life coaching model of connection, intention, reflection, and action
  4. Thriving versus surviving students
  5. Designing a coaching model that addresses the needs of the ‘inner student’.

Day two will offer a deeper dive into coaching by:

  1. Identifying key student support themes
  2. Co-creating coaching outcomes and assembling campus resources
  3. Group coaching and individual coaching practice sessions
  4. Exploring how coaching and advising serve as complementary practices. Academic life coach training will be introduced through formal instruction balanced with live, interactive demonstrations. Participants will gain working knowledge of this model and will leave with tools, resources, and action plans for incorporating coaching techniques into practice. 


Kathleen Shea Smith

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