Educational success can be more easily attained—and can be more enjoyable—when you have people in your corner to share in your accomplishments. A college degree isn’t a journey you have to travel alone.
That’s where the Strayer University Student Services Coaches come in. Your Student Services Coach is a dedicated professional who focuses solely on your achievement—motivating, advising, and guiding you throughout your education from enrollment to graduation. Strayer Student Services Coach Crystal Reyes recently provided some tips on how to make the most of this coaching resource.
Your First Meeting
The initial meeting is crucial to establishing your overall plan for success and developing your methods of collaboration. Your coach will want to know what your short- and long-term goals are, so come prepared with your ideas. Your goals might change over time, but establishing some base lines will help your coach assist you in planning your college career.
“We will cover topics as wide ranging as financial aid, academics, goals, life concerns and stressors, and self-confidence,” says Reyes. “We try to meet with new students within their first few weeks of school. The earlier the coach is involved the better. We want to plan the first two years of courses based on the discussion we have about all these topics.” She notes that coaches will make the initial contact, but it’s up to the student to follow through.
Reyes also emphasizes that the plans made initially are not set in stone. Coaching is meant to be a form of guidance, not a strict schedule. Students and their coaches can change plans every quarter, if needed. “Students should never be afraid to approach the coach with concerns or changes,” Reyes advises.
Stay in Touch
The Student Services Coach’s role is not just a meet-and-greet. “This is a long relationship,” says Reyes. “It’s meant to last throughout the college career right through graduation.” You should stay in contact with your coach and communicate with them often through whichever channels work best.
“Never be afraid to ask questions or reach out for help,” says Reyes. “Keep us updated on each little success and each setback. Part of our job is to track students’ progress for each academic term, and your feedback and communication is critical. Our goal is to help you, but we need your help to do that.”
Honesty Is the Best Policy
Reyes emphasizes that coaches are not judges. “We understand that things don’t always go the way you think they will, or that life interferes,” she explains. “We’re not going to judge anyone. Our goal is to help students over whatever hurdle appears.” However, coaches can’t help if the student hasn’t been honest. Telling the truth, and as soon as possible, will allow the coach to be able to examine options. “If someone’s failing classes or has been skipping class since week one, they shouldn’t wait until week five to tell us,” Reyes says.
The flip side is that students should expect the coaches to be honest, too. “We want students to succeed,” Reyes says. “Sometimes we may have to tell them things they’re not excited to hear, but it’s only to help them reach their goals.”
Don’t Assume Coaches Only Help With Academics or Financial Aid
Student Services Coaches offer a wide range of extremely personalized services to help you in virtually every aspect of your life. They are highly connected to staff at all levels of the University and have access to numerous resources to address issues you may have. If there’s something they can’t do for you, they will research to find out who can help you. They succeed when you do. Here are a few things Student Services Coaches can help you with:
- New student orientation and onboarding
- Academic advisement
- Registration assistance
- Connection to tutoring, study groups, or additional assistance
- Career services and preparation
- Finding access to childcare
- Locating student discounts and opportunities to reduce costs
- Tracking and analyzing your progress
- Liaising with different university departments
When You Succeed, Your Coach Succeeds
It’s as simple as that—your success is a benchmark of success for your coach, too. The best thing you can do in your relationship with your Student Services Coach is to meet soon and often, be honest, and keep your coach updated on changes, positive or otherwise, in your academic journey. They work with you one-on-one, so you have their undivided attention. Communicating with them is flexible as well: you can reach your Student Services Coach by phone, email, text, video chat, and sometimes in-person at a Strayer University campus.
The bottom line: Your goals are your coach’s goals. They want to help you achieve them.
Learn more about Strayer University’s online degree programs.