Academic and Professional Development Coaching

As a graduate and professional student, you are required to manage competing demands: challenging academics, hectic schedules, labs, and exams, as well as your personal and family life. Understandably, at times this can leave you feeling stressed, confused, or overwhelmed. To equip you to best meet these challenges, we developed Academic and Professional Development Coaching, a service designed to provide individual and personalized support during your time at UMB.  All students at UMB are welcome to participate in Academic and Professional Development Coaching Services, not just students with disabilities.

What is Academic and Professional Development Coaching? 

What is Academic and Professional Development Coaching?

Academic and Professional Development Coaching is a working one-on-one partnership that focuses on the process of learning and becoming. Together with a trained coach, students examine their learning styles, working habits, career and leadership aspirations, professional goals, and current difficulties or barriers to success. Then this team—coach  (coach and student—works to create and put in place more effective strategies. The aim is to heighten awareness of what it takes to achieve academic and professional success and anchor this with new strategies, a supportive relationship, and personal accountability.

How will Academic Coaches help me?

Coaches are trained to listen, observe, and customize their approach to the student’s individual needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the student, and they believe the student is naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the student already possesses.

What are some examples of topics I can be coached on? 

Academic and professional coaching can be useful for accomplishing the following goals:

  • Clarify what is working and not working in your current academic/professional situation
  • Develop effective study skills
  • Improve grades
  • Make progress toward and/or complete dissertation
  • Communicate and work effectively with faculty, advisor, peers, etc.
  • Increase productivity
  • Complete lab work in a timely manner
  • Re-adapt to an academic environment after years in the "real world”
  • Develop and execute a specific study plan
  • Create a time management plan for the week or for the semester
  • Prepare a comprehensive study strategy for the semester
  • Define “work success and professional fulfillment” for yourself and create a plan of action to achieve it
  • Better manage feeling overwhelmed and busy
  • Understand and capitalize on your strengths and values
  • Develop a plan and strategies to reach career aspirations after graduation
  • Balance responsibilities of work and family

What if I don't receive academic accommodations. May I still seek out academic coaching?

Yes!  The Academic and Professional Development Coaching at UMB is an educational support service available to all UMB students, regardless of disability or accommodation status. We believe all students would benefit from having individualized attention on their academic process and professional development, and to create strategies to reach their goals.

How does coaching work?

Students can receive 4 coaching sessions per semester. If supply allows, the number of sessions can be increased. Each session is up to 60 minutes in length and all sessions are conducted in person or virtually (by phone or video).

As for the content of the sessions, coaching is an intensely personal and confidential process, custom-tailored to each individual’s needs. Coaching generally progresses through the following sequence of activity:

  1. Submit the form indicating you are interested in working with a coach. (See request form below)
  2. You will be matched with a coach, who will email you a welcome questionnaire packet to identify desired areas for coaching.
  3. Complete the coaching questionnaire (~15 minutes) and email it back to your coach.
  4. Set up your first coaching session.
  5. Meet with your coach to establish coaching objectives, priorities, and goals (Session 1).
  6. Complete a session preparation form before each of your coaching sessions. Email your form to your coach 24 hours before your next scheduled session.
  7. Engage in a series of three (or more) coaching sessions.
  8. Complete a brief anonymous post-coaching evaluation.

How to do I get started?

Please submit a coaching request using our online form.

If you have any questions about academic coaching, please email


How to Get Started with Academic and Professional Coaching

Please fill out this Academic and Professional Development Coaching Request Form to be matched with an academic coach beginning in the semester.