Academic success- it can be defined in several ways, and anyone striving to achieve a successful academic life likely knows that it cannot always come easily. That’s why English professor and Certified Life Coach Jody Nusholtz, with the help of some staff volunteers, established the Academic Success Coaching program at Carroll Community College to guide and support those on the sometimes rocky road to success. The coaching is described on Nusholtz’s academic success blog as “a specific type of conversation [that] works to help you stay motivated, get focused, and get things done.”
Academic coaching is a service that has been offered at Carroll since 2009, but the program was redeveloped this semester in order to reach more students. Originally named “Life Lift” and offered to students in a pilot program, the coaching immediately produced positive results and expanded to serve all credit students. Since its initial creation, it has gone through two more name changes. It was Project You and now is known as Academic Success Coaching.
This type of program came to be when Nusholtz approached a former Dean of students for suggestions regarding her promotion project. Knowing of Nusholtz’s passion for helping students, the Dean suggested that she set up an academic coaching program. “I was the obvious choice for something like this,” said Nusholtz. After launching the program, Nusholtz attended a 3-day session where she became certified in life coaching. Once back at Carroll, she began training other staff members to use life coaching techniques to help students as well.
The current version of the coaching program at Carroll is aimed to work with Carroll’s Areas of Study initiative. The coaching sessions, described as a “learn as you go” process by Nusholtz, usually consist of a full group meeting, with students later breaking off into smaller groups based on their academic focus. The sessions focus on things such as goal setting and achievement support, as well as offer help for students going through things in their personal lives such as family and relationship trouble.
“We want you to thrive, not just survive!” is a motto that Nusholtz keeps in mind when coaching students. Though the coaches are there to steer students in the right direction, the goal of the program is to encourage students to understand what they desire for their own lives. “The coaching is about [getting students to say] ‘I want this, this is how I’m going to get it’,” explained Nusholtz.
The first two sessions of the semester occurred on September 24 and October 19. The third will take place on November 17 at 3:30p.m. in K-119.The first session of the semester brought pleasing results, with roughly 15 people in attendance.
Additionally, there is a blog for the coaching program, which can be found at carrollsuccesscoaching.com.
Nusholtz hopes to draw more people to the meetings in the future so that she can use her passion to help guide even more students. “My way of being in the world is really aligned with coaching,” she said.