Student Success Coaching Program

Student Success Coaching is an equal partnership between the student and the coach, and concentrates on specific goals and the commitment to the planned outcomes. Student success coaches ask, what excites the student, and in the student’s opinion, what makes their college experience worth continuing?

The model of Student Success Coaching employed by UNC Asheville is based on research, models, and other information in the fields of higher education, counseling, and psychology (McClellan & Moser, 2011; Biswas-Dresearch, 2009; Hall & Youens, 2007; Griffiths, 2005; Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). “Underpinning the goal-directed, action-based framework of coaching which combines powerful dialogue within a supportive yet challenging arena, are the concepts and approaches encouraged within adult and lifelong learning, transformational learning, experiential learning, and mentoring theory”  (Griffiths, 2005, p. 62).

What is a Success Coach?

Success Coaches work with various members of the campus community across departments and units depending on the needs, desires, and goals of the student. Coaches are currently housed in several disciplines across campus and trained through the Division of Student Affairs, which is the Division that provides lead oversight, evaluation, coordination, and implementation strategies related to the program and the coaches serving the program.

Coaches collaborate with students, their families, advisors, faculty members, and other administrators to develop appropriate action plans regarding personal, social, co-curricular and academic support issues. They connect students to relevant campus resources through direct referrals and personal connections. Coaches are committed to helping students persist and succeed in their college experience and understand the demands and challenges that students may face while attending the university.

What does it mean to work with a success coach?

  • Students complete an online profile form and a prep-assignment prior to the first coaching meeting.
  • Students meet one-one-one with their success coach.
  • Coaching methods that will be used during coaching are reviewed with the student.
  • Students review, discuss and sign the coaching agreement.
  • Students are asked to share general information about oneself this begins establishing the coaching relationship.
  • The completed online forms that include student goals are reviewed and guide the coaching session.
  • Students reflect and talk a great deal about themselves that leads to action plan development.
  • Students and their coach co-design an action plan with specific steps and completion dates.
  • Action plans integrate SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-table) and accountability.
  • Students schedule their next coaching session before departing.
  • Each Success Coaching meeting is scheduled for one-hour.
  • Students schedule minimally four coaching meetings with their Success Coach throughout the year, but are also encouraged to schedule appointments as needed.

What are the benefits of working with a success coach?

  • Enhanced academic success
  • Mentorship
  • Personalized study skills
  • Individualized Student Success Plan
  • Time and stress management
  • Referral to campus resources
  • Goal Setting
  • Coaching Events and Workshops

How do I get a Success Coach?

Success coaches are matched with students by request or based on the information sheet the student submits when seeking a coach. This allows for the needs, goals, and desires of the student identified to be matched appropriately with a coach that has expertise to help guide the student toward goal completion in the identified areas. Currently, the UNCA has trained and identified the following individuals as Success Coaches on this campus and students can expect to be matched with any one of these individuals. Additionally, students may request a success coach if they have a prior relationship with the person or they feel the bios listed below appeal to their vision, goals, and reasoning for participating in the coaching program at UNC Asheville.


To request a Success Coach please email Robert Straub at