Academic coaching: frequently asked questions

Is academic coaching only for students who are struggling academically?
How should I prepare for an academic coaching appointment?
What is PREP?
How do I book an appointment with an academic coach?

Q. Is academic coaching only for students who are struggling academically?

Just about anyone can benefit from academic coaching. If you are not doing as well as you had hoped, or as well as you have done in the past, you may find that one or more sessions with an academic coach can help you refine your study strategies so that they are attuned to this new academic environment. If you are doing well academically, though, you may also find that academic coaching can help you study more effectively and efficiently.

The academic coach works collaboratively with you to help you identify ways to adapt your current study strategies in order to make the most of time spent learning — freeing up time for other activities: sleeping, eating, exercising, spending time with family and friends, shadowing, volunteering, and just engaging more fully with the things that are important to you.

Q. How should I prepare for an academic coaching appointment?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Are you wondering why you spend most of your time, outside of class, studying (and not necessarily learning)?
    • Consider tracking how you spend your time for a few days prior to your appointment, so you have something concrete to talk about.
  • Are you having problems with procrastination or motivation?
    • Pay attention to whether there are some activities that you feel less inclined to start, or to follow through on, than others.
  • Are you doing well academically, but spending more time studying than you would like?
    • You might take time to analyze how you typically approach your studies, and make some notes about what other activities you would like to find time for in your schedule.

Giving a bit of forethought to some of these things will make your appointment with an academic coach more focused and productive.

Although you do not need to do any formal planning or preparation before meeting with an academic coach, it is often useful to think about what you hope to accomplish in a session:

Q. What is PREP?

The Peer-facilitated Review Enrichment Program (PREP) offers first-year medical students the unique opportunity to participate in small, innovative, interactive and collaborative learning communities facilitated by successful second-year medical students. With the shared goal of adapting current learning strategies — and, where appropriate, devising new ones — to meet the challenges of this enriched academic environment, participants engage in a process of self-directed learning and critical inquiry that is essential to the successful acquisition, retention and application of knowledge.

Sessions offered are aligned with the specific learning objectives of the Faculty of Medicine’s foundational curriculum. You are invited to come to as many, or as few, sessions as you like: there is no commitment other than the commitment to achieving your full academic potential.

Q. How do I book an appointment with an academic coach?

You can schedule an appointment early mornings, during the day, at lunchtime, or in the early evening throughout the year by contacting the Office of Health Professions Student Affairs (OHPSA) or using the online form.