• Alicia Sepulveda

Top 5 Resources for Academic Coaches in Higher Education

If you don't know me, I've coached over 1,000 college students over the past 10 years 3 different institutions and one non-profit, college access organization. I've also studied and published research that focuses on coaching college students.

Here are my top 5 resources you need to read. I also share a brief sentence or two to summarize WHY I think this is worth your time.

All books are linked to Bookshop, which is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Any books you purchase will support the efforts of Make College Yours, LLC.

#1 - An Introduction to Coaching Skills: A Practical Guide, by Christian van Nieuwerburgh. This is the NUMBER ONE book for coaches who are new to the field, or looking to understand more about what coaching is, and how it is different than other student support services. I actually didn't read this until later in my coaching journey, and it still challenged me to be a better coach. Full disclosure, I am friends with Christian, and he is an awesome human and supportive of coaching in higher education and education broadly.

#2 - The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More, and Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier - I listened to this on audio, but I remember thinking this is such a short, sweet book of nuggets that I can actually use in my meetings with students. Has GREAT coaching questions.

#3 - Coaching College Students to Thrive: Exploring Coaching Practices in Higher Education by Alicia Sepulveda (me!). I am sharing this because I put my heart and soul into this! And this was the dissertation I wanted years ago. I wanted to understand what coaching was, specifically in higher education What makes coaching, coaching? I also share the 6 coaching practices that make up this emerging field. If you don't want to read the whole thing (totally fair), focus on the findings OR watch the free webinar here to get an overview of these 6 coaching practices.

#4 - The Effects of Student Coaching: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Advising by Bettinger & Baker. It's not that this is my favorite research. BUT, this has been cited by major news outlets and I believe it is a major reason that coaching has spread so quickly across the country. One of the major flaws that I see regarding this article is that it is convoluting advising and coaching. Was this a coaching intervention? An advising intervention? Both? I had training through InsideTrack, so I believe it is coaching, but it's not clear and adds to the confusion between the two.

#5 - Academic/Success Coaching: A Description of an Emerging Field in Higher Education by Claire Robinson. This was a national survey to understand the landscape of academic/success coaching - it helps to understand that there are so many other people doing this work. You'll also see how programs vary drastically, increasing the need for leadership and standards to do this work in the best ways possible. Focus on findings if you have limited time.

I hope this helps you get a sense of academic/success coaching as an emerging field in higher education and helps you grow as a coach. Sending you all love during this time.

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Sending you love and good vibes during this time,


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