A Strayer University Student Services Coach is a person who works with you to help you succeed in school and ultimately continue on to reach your goals. While a Student Services Coach can’t always directly resolve your issues, they can work with faculty and other departments to help you overcome obstacles. They can guide you to academic and financial aid assistance, provide emotional support, and help you develop growth mindset principles that will benefit you inside, and outside, the classroom. Student Services Coach, Crystal Reyes, recently shared some tips on how to successfully work toward your degree.
Work on balance.
This is perhaps the most common issue adult students face, and a big reason why some hesitate to start a degree program as an adult. It can be a struggle to set aside time each day to focus on studies, especially when you also have work and family obligations, never mind hobbies and outside interests. Often the first thing a Student Services Coach will talk to you about is time management and focus. A good question to consider is: What motivates you? Identifying the answer can help with inspiration. Then your coach will work with you to plan a schedule that takes into account all of your responsibilities and available time.
But as Reyes notes, balance needs to be found on the macro and micro levels. “Balance goes for all things, even little things like a coach helping you pick out your classes,” she says. “We like to work with your weaknesses and balance them with your strengths. For example, we’d never overload on two lab classes, then two heavy writing classes for the quarter. Balancing the range of academics each term can make your degree work more manageable. Also, if a student excels in writing but struggles with math, we’d heavy up on writing courses and scale down on math courses to ensure the student is successful.”
She notes that there are other ways to achieve academic balance, too. “We also like to balance your realistic goals with your personal interests. Say your work needs you to take a specific accounting class that you don’t find particular appealing, but you need to take it. Let’s enroll you in that to further your work opportunities, but let’s also balance that with a class you like, maybe psychology because the human mind interests you.”
Sometimes part of balance is to step away briefly. “We also help you take time off and get back on track to make sure you’re as focused and mentally prepared as can be,” Reyes says. “Earning your degree can be a casual, enjoyable journey, not a long, drawn-out obstacle towards your dreams.”
Ask for help.
Beyond your Student Services Coach, Strayer has a host of other tools and resources to help you achieve your degree. Strayer’s Learning Resources Center – which can be accessed both online and on-campus – supports the academic programs and university information literacy program with both traditional and electronic instructional resources and services. The iCampus portal give you access to all your coursework and offers the opportunity to collaborate with other students. Professors are easily reachable for questions and assistance and there are also online and on-campus tutors available. The bottom line is, help is available for you.
Let your Student Services Coach be your cheerleader.
Every once in a while, you’re going to need an emotional pick-me-up. Your Student Services Coach is always there to provide one. Many non-traditional students just like you are returning to school to finish something they started previously, embarking on a career change, or pursuing a personal accomplishment. You can do it, too! And if you’re not sure about that—just ask your Student Services Coach.
“I like to advise my students to take each day, class, and quarter one step at a time,” says Reyes. “I show them how this one step will take them to the next. Each level 100 class is a step towards their level 200, which is a step towards 300, etc. Before they know it, they’re walking across the stage in cap and gown. I like to remind them to not lose focus on the goals because they’re exhausted or feel like they’re going nowhere. My role is to help them not lose sight of their desired future and to show them how they’re making progress toward that future.”
Learn about what resources are available.
Reyes likes to remind students that Strayer doesn’t just offer academic assistance. She helps students partner with the SOAR program that offers resources such as childcare, career guidance, job hunting assistance, finances, assistance for homelessness, counseling, etc. “You wouldn’t think a school does anything more than academics, but we truly do assist our students in their personal lives to help them stay focused on academics,” says Reyes. “We do this because academic success is such an important stepping stone towards a better quality of life overall.”
The Student Services Coach relationship is highly customized and personal, because the coaches at Strayer know that there’s much more to academic success than just what happens in a classroom. They share your goals for academic success —and they’re with you every step of the way.
Are you ready to take the first step? Learn more about degree programs at Strayer University.