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4 Tips for Finishing Your Degree, From Our Student Services Coaching Team

Every day, student services coaches help Strayer students reach their goals – both inside and outside the classroom.

A Strayer University student services coach is someone who supports you in school and ultimately encourages and assists you in reaching your goals. They can guide you to academic and financial aid assistance and help develop growth mindset principles that will benefit you inside and outside the classroom.

Michael Horvath is a student services coach at Strayer. He describes his job as the first point of contact for students facing difficulties or experiencing concerns during their academic journey. Horvath assists with anything from helping to identify motivators to simplifying course selections to breaking down barriers to success – and much more. 

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. Follow these four tips and strategies from our student services coaches to help you successfully work toward your degree.

1. Work on balance

It’s not easy creating a successful work-life balance, and that can make some people 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, family obligations, hobbies and outside interests. Often the first thing a student services coach will talk to you about is time management and focus. Your coach can work with you to plan a schedule that takes into account all of your responsibilities and available time.

Michael Horvath says that students who take the time to map out a structured routine often feel more at ease with their studies than those who don’t. This helps them balance and prioritize their workload. “Making a priority list of their assignments for the week is often encouraged so students can visualize what they need to accomplish and schedule time accordingly,” says Horvath.

Balance can also be found in other areas, like a student's class load. Coaches will know which classes may include a heavy writing component and can advise about which courses may complement that workload well. Classes can also be balanced between your academic goals and personal interests. Your professional path may require you to take an accounting class that could feel daunting to you. Your coach may suggest balancing that with a class that is more appealing, based on your interests.

2. Use all your resources

Our coaches all recommend that students take advantage of a host of other tools and resources to help them achieve their degree. All Strayer students have access to the Center for Well-Being. This site offers support and resources in the areas of academics, career, essential needs, finances, mind and body, and social connection. Coaches say it’s a great way for students to take initiative and obtain extra support on their own time.

Additionally, the iCampus portal is essential to staying organized and connected to your academic community. It gives you access to all your coursework and offers the opportunity to collaborate with other students. Professors are easily reachable through the portal for questions and assistance, and there are online and on-campus tutors available.

Coaches also highlight the convenience of Irving. Irving is a student service chatbot named after the university’s founder, Dr. Irving Strayer. Irving can quickly link you to basic university information in a streamlined fashion. From financial aid to registration questions, Irving is a fast way to get the information you need.

3. Ask for help

Not everyone can do everything on their own. Your student services coach is always there to provide the support you need. Many Strayer students are returning to school to finish something they started previously, embarking on a career change or pursuing a personal accomplishment. Your coach is there to help you focus on your goals and desired future, and help remind you how you're making progress toward that future.

Senior student services coach Laurie Lee wants her students to come to her even for the small things, so she can help prevent issues from turning into bigger problems. She adds, “I want my students to know that I truly care and that they have someone they can go to when times are not so easy.”

Michael Horvath agrees. He’s always there for his students, and one way of doing so is by connecting them with SOAR services (Student Outreach, Assistance, Resources). SOAR gives students 24/7 access to clinicians, financial experts and work-life specialists. Additionally, if a student is struggling financially, which can also be an emotional burden, Horvath notes that coaches can help students look for scholarships and navigate any financial aid offerings that may be available.

4. Stay focused on your goals

For some, the educational journey is long. But that’s okay. Laurie Lee reminds her students that you don’t have to reach your goals quickly, you just have to stay focused on them. Lee says, "I advise students to remember why they started school to begin with and not to lose sight of their goals. Life will keep happening, so it is important not to allow life to distract them from what they set out to do.” She believes a boost of confidence can often help students who start losing motivation. Lee reminds students to focus on past accomplishments and how far they’ve come. She says it’s important to go at whatever pace works best and keep envisioning what success means to them.

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. Michael Horvath says, "As a coach I’m always here for all the ups and downs of my students’ academic journey. I’m big on making sure, at the very least, students become confident in their abilities to grow and to self-advocate for their own success." Student services coaches 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.

Category: Motivation & Inspiration

Published Date: NOVEMBER 2, 2023