The Success Coach Skeptic

The Success Coach Skeptic

Remember the good old days? You know, simpler times when men wore hats to work, no one cursed on television, and children always obeyed their parents? Those were the days when people talked to their friends in person instead of responding to their texts by Instagramming their Facebook posts. And yes, those were the days when all college students were responsible, mature self-starters who achieved academic success purely through individual effort and drive. Riiiiight…. Though the success coach program at…

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Paying Attention to Retention

Paying Attention to Retention

Not long ago we met with a prospective client whose enrollment management team was nimble at recruiting students, but these efforts were akin to plugging the Titanic with a wad of chewed-up Trident: a breathtaking 48% of freshmen hadn’t returned for their sophomore year. The advice we gave to this university, and the crux of this post, addresses the dividends, both for institutions and for students, of paying attention to retention. While academe loathes comparisons with the business world, a company with…

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Five Keys to the First Meeting

Five Keys to the First Meeting

Allison’s Last Chance premiered in August of 2011, and by early October the reviews were in. Here’s what the critics had to say: “Allison has a terrible attitude in class.” – Allison’s Math professor “Allison failed my class because she plagiarized.” – Allison’s English professor “Allison doesn’t just have a ‘problem with truthiness,’ she down right lies.” – Allison’s Psychology professor By the time I scheduled my first meeting with Allison, I knew a lot about her, and none of…

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The Boulder on his Shoulder: Understanding Students with Learning Disabilities

The Boulder on his Shoulder: Understanding Students with Learning Disabilities

What’s harder than trying to make friends, navigate bureaucracy, manage time well, get good grades, and become an adult all at the same time? Doing it all with a learning disability! The good news for students with learning disabilities is that colleges have become better and better equipped to deal with students for whom the primary boulder in the road is not laziness or a lack of ability but simply a brain that’s wired a little differently than most. The…

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The Telescope and Microscope of Student Motivation

The Telescope and Microscope of Student Motivation

“He’s a really smart guy, if only he’d GO TO CLASS!” “She leaves my office full of confidence that she can ace this paper, and then a week goes by, and she STILL HASN’T STARTED IT!” How many times have we rooted for students only to come up frustrated time and again with their lack of follow-through? They’ve got the intelligence, they’re working on the study skills, and yet they STILL seem to be struggling with the most basic tasks:…

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The Many Faces of a Success Coach

The Many Faces of a Success Coach

Being a success coach means that you often have to play many different roles with your students.  This post identifies some of the various roles a coach must play in order to help students achieve their educational objectives. The Detective Though I have yet to practice success coaching while dressed in a trench coat and fedora, the first and most crucial job a success coach has is as detective. Within the first few meetings, you must try to figure out what is the…

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Using Data to Help Ensure Adult Student Success

Using Data to Help Ensure Adult Student Success

With nearly a quarter of students over the age of 30, the increase in adult learners on campus is perhaps the most significant shift in American higher education in quite some time. The thought that “non-traditional students”—students over the age of 24, enrolled part-time, and financing their own education—account for 38% of all campus enrollments is as exciting as it is challenging. When you consider that such percentages are only projected to increase in the coming years, institutions are rightly…

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Reentry: Maintaining Contact With Students Who Have Stopped Out

Reentry: Maintaining Contact With Students Who Have Stopped Out

Retaining and graduating students is the ultimate goal for any institution.  However, many times students have to leave an institution for one or more of a myriad of reasons. For some, life gets in the way and the student loses a job, has a child, or has to relocate.  Others stop out because of a gap in funding from employers or Title IV resources.  Sometimes, the student just needs a break from school. Obviously, the ideal situation would be to…

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Success Coach Performance Management

Success Coach Performance Management

Persistence and student academic success has become one of the most important measures of institutional effectiveness in higher education.  Consequently, colleges and universities across the country are making investments in technology, support staff and learning resources to help improve student success.  Due to these additional investments and the high stakes nature of quality academic outcomes, institutions are also looking for ways in which they can ensure the effective performance of their student support professionals. Luckily, there are a few simple…

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The Importance of Developing Rapport with Students

The Importance of Developing Rapport with Students

In today’s educational climate any tactic that can be used to help improve student success or increase retention should be considered by every institution.  It is even better when the approaches are not difficult to implement, do not take much time or do not cost a lot of money.  While many colleges are understaffed and underfunded and may not have the resources available to implement all of the retention best practices, one best practice that student services professionals should always…

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