Peer Academic Coaching Program

The Peer Academic Coaching Program is a sophomore retention and success tool.  This coaching program is part of the Academic Recovery Program at Lake Forest College.  In the College’s missing statement, we say that we know our students by name, meaning we walk alongside students and personally tailor and support student development.  We do not leave students alone or lost in the Forest. Foresters support other Foresters on their way to becoming Foresters Forever.   

To these ends, we need knowledgeable others–peers who have been there, done it, have grown from their experiences and are ready to share to help others.  Knowledgeable peers can help second semester first years and sophomores at their point of need because they have “been there” recently and have “done it” at Lake Forest. 

What is Peer Academic Coaching? 

Peer Academic Coaches assist students in becoming independent, self-assured learners. Through on-going conversations, a Peer Coach can help Foresters develop and implement strategies to achieve their academic goals.  Coaches help students achieve success by providing structure, study-skills building, and accountability.   

Peer Academic Coaches are students who demonstrate a knowledge base of the holistic elements of academic success. Peer Academic Coaches help students identify barriers to academic success and assist them in creating and applying action plans for overcoming challenges. Peer Academic Coaches help students maximize their potential by supporting and assisting students in gaining effective strategies and behaviors that can support their personal and academic lives. 

Coaches talk with their clients about emotions attached to obstacles. They work through these obstacles with their clients, accessing outside resources when needed. Coaches facilitate change without making the client feel badly about choices they have made. Coaches understand that becoming a successful Forester is a process that takes time.  

Who would benefit from having a Peer Academic Coach?

If a student is looking for guidance in any of the areas listed below, it is a good indicator that they would benefit from a Peer Academic Coach.  

  • Academic stress reduction 
  • Concentration 
  • Goal setting 
  • Managing online courses 
  • Notetaking 
  • Overcoming procrastination 
  • Reading strategies 
  • Study techniques 
  • Test preparation 
  • Time management 

Success stories from our advisees:

My coach was very helpful in the sense of work ethic. He helped me get higher grades on homework and ways to understand concepts better.
My coach was very helpful and told me everything I needed to know on the first day.

Expectations for a Peer Academic Coach 

A peer academic coach is flexible, nonjudgemental, and trusting. Students can come to their coaches and feel as though they are supported. After all, foresters help foresters!