What is Academic Coaching?
Are you a tutoring service?
No. A tutoring service focuses on remediation and re-teaching of content for specific courses. Nor are we "homework helpers." Many people who bill themselves as tutors are in fact merely sitting with students as they complete their homework, occasionally explaining something. We are academic coaches and strategists.
What is a coach/strategist?
The SOS philosophy is that most students are capable of understanding the content of the courses they are taught. The difference between success and underachievement, motivation and apathy, can be attributed not to a failure of the intellect, but to a weakness in, or the complete absence of strategies . Some students seem to aquire 'tackling their work' strategies on their own. Study strategies such as organization, time management, note taking, expository writing and test preparation are rarely taught by teachers, especially at the middle school and high school level. Such teachers are content driven and normally expect students to devise their own approach to tackling the workload. Coaches build confidence, motivation and self-reliance through individualizing the teaching and implementation of study strategies to each client's needs and style. Students then learn to work smarter, not harder.
Can you describe the process for me?
Coaches work in 50-minute sessions for a minimum of six sessions (four for summar coaching). This number in our experience, is in fact the minimum amount of time in which many students are able to both form a positive connection to the coach and to benefit from the instruction. Unlike franchised learning centers, there is no established "routine" carried out in the same way with each client. Such an approach would be counter to our belief that success depends on treating students as individuals. With the client, each coach determines the best approach. After the six sessions, it is up to the client, the parents and the coach. Some students continue through the entire school year and find their skills and performance improving continuously over time.
What are your fees for coaching?
Click here for coaching fees for new clients, etc.
How do you get started?
This is how you get started as a new client. An initial parent consult, 6 coaching sessions and a parent follow-up session are bundled fees and vary by coach. All sessions are 50 minutes once a week. The initial consult ranges from $125 to $175; SOS 50-minute coaching sessions are $95 to $110 (with a 6-week commitment) and the Parent Follow-Up meeting is $95 to $110. If you work with a coach on Beth's staff (for example), the amount due on the first session is $790. All of this is clearly spelled out in a contract that's sent prior to the first session via email.
How do you measure success?
We measure results based on the students growing feelings of success, motivation and confidence, which is often, but not always, measured in improved grades and teacher comments. Parents who come to us expecting to turn failing students into excelling students overnight are likely to be disappointed. The same goes for parents who feel that only straight A's measure success. This says more about the parent than the student! There is no quick road to success. Long ingrained habits in particular can take some time to overturn. The speed with which students move forward often depends on their buy- in to the process. If they leave the session and implement/apply the new strategies, they will progress towards achievement much more quickly than if they do not use the strategies between sessions. Goals are set at the beginning of the work and progress is determined by the realization of those goals.
What age levels do you see?
Clients range in age from 10 to 18.
What if I have a younger child whose organizational skills have been identified as lacking or weak?
Itís often the parents and school professionals who benefit from an SOS consultation with children between the ages of 6 and 10. We read test data, interview relevant professionals, identify the issues and help parents and teachers implement practical solutions at home and in the classroom. We can provide referrals to professionals who specialize in one-on-one work with children in the lower elementary grades.
Do you assist children with major learning or emotional disabilities?
Yes. Strategies can be of great benefit to all students, particularly those struggling with disabilities. SOS coaches collaborate with pediatricians, psychologists, resource teachers and other professionals to ensure that the student's educational needs are being appropriately and effectively addressed.
Can you assist with IEP's?
Beth Samuelson, SOS director, is an expert at designing and implementing IEP's that work. She provides a full range of advocacy services, including attendance at the IEP itself as the parent's representative.
Do you do assessment testing?
No. There are a number of testing specialists that we work with and we are always happy to provide referrals if testing is recommended. We review completed testing as part of our intake process and in determining the goals for each client.
Where does coaching take place?
Coaches meet with students in our Walnut Creek office.
Student Organizational Services
2940 Camino Diablo, Suite 250
Walnut Creek CA 94597-3987
Other locations, including schools, are by arrangement.
> Coaching Fees