A coach for college’s challenges

Your goals are our goals.

Our mission is to engage, empower, and support you to be successful in your pursuit of academic and personal goals. We do this in first-year life coaching, academic advising, and academic support through Ignite.

All incoming first-year students are assigned a Certified Life Coach who becomes their person for selecting courses, exploring major options, and adjusting to college life through the first academic year.

Students transferring into Union College with 24+ college credit hours receive academic advising from a faculty advisor in their major, and are welcome to request life coaching as they adjust to life at Union College.

Achieve your goals with a life coach.

Student Success provides students with individualized support to get the most out of their Union College experience. Life coaches help students in their college journey from specific tasks ("How do I approach this assignment?") to general questions ("What do I want to accomplish in life?").

Some common goals assist in providing tools, direction, and sustainable outcomes for first-year college students, including:

  • Develop, set and obtain goals using a variety of methods
  • Understand and use appropriate study skills
  • Identify and use campus resources for holistic success
  • Think critically in order to modify habits

What is life coaching?

Life coaching is a collaboration between the coach and the student. It is an individualized process to help students identify their scholastic or personal goals and support students toward achieving these goals by providing structure, support, feedback, and encouragement.

  • Coaching is not therapy. Therapy deals with healing psychological issues and is generally long-term and intensive, dealing with personal history as well as cognitive and behavioral development.
  • Coaching is proactive goal-setting not addressing psychological issues. Coaching acknowledges personal history but focuses on skill development and implementation of new strategies that benefit the student in achieving their goals and becoming more fulfilled and better equipped to meet the daily challenges of college life.
  • The coach and student design an alliance together that is synergistic in nature. They co-engineer the process as a team so as to avoid a situation of “nagging.” The roles of each are clearly defined in the beginning. Together they decide what to do and how to do it. A system of accountability is set up that is comfortable for both.

What is academic advising?

During your freshman year at Union, your life coach is also your academic advisor. Similar to coaching, advising is a collaboration between the advisor and student.

While coaching focuses on a variety of goals chosen by the student, advising is all about choosing courses and making an academic plan that aligns with requirements laid out in the Academic Bulletin.

In the spring semester, freshmen students will be connected with a faculty advisor for their major who will be able to continue academic advising through to graduation.

Get the most out of life coaching and academic advising.

Your academic advisor and life coach will be an important guide in college. Whether you’re a first-year student with an assigned life coach, or a transfer student with an assigned faculty advisor, there are ways you can prepare to make the most of these connections.

  • When you first meet with your advisor, come prepared with questions. Keep a list of questions you or your parents have while you go through the admissions process.
  • Pay attention to questionnaires and surveys we will send you to get you thinking about your success in college.
  • Plan to connect with your coach/advisor at least two times each semester. Your advisor is someone you can count on, so it is vital for you to take the time to build this relationship.
  • Listen to your advisor; if you do not agree with their views, you have the right to question, respond, review and respectfully disagree. Once you have met a few times, you will know if you and your advisor are a good match.
  • It is appropriate to switch advisors or coaches if you feel you are not connecting. After all, the college bulletin states that you and only you are responsible for your college experience. Faculty, staff, and advisors are here as your guides, but this is your college experience.

Academic Support with Ignite

What is Ignite?

Ignite is a performance-based program that provides specialized academic support through weekly meetings with an academic coach. During weekly coaching, students will discuss strategies, methods, and different aids to help build their academic, study, and testing skills, as well as form a balanced schedule for a successful transition to college life. 

Participation in Ignite

Ignite provides academic opportunity for students who do not meet the traditional enrollment requirement of a high school GPA at 2.5 or above.

Students accepted into the Ignite program must:

  • Sign the coaching agreement; 
  • Meet weekly with their assigned Academic Coach; 
  • Enroll in SPRK 100: Design Your Life in the spring semester; 
  • Take 12-17 credits per semester.

Major Declaration

Students in the Ignite program are enrolled under the Associate of Science in General Studies degree. In order to declare another associate's degree or a bachelor’s level major in another degree program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete one semester of weekly meetings with Academic Coach;
  • Complete one semester with a minimum GPA of 2.5;
  • Successfully complete 12-17 credits at Union College.

Completion of Ignite

Students complete the Ignite program when they have achieved:

  • Successful course completion of 24 credit hours;
  • Successful completion of SPRK 100 with CR (credit);
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the end of the first year;
  • Minimum of one semester of weekly Academic Coaching completed.

    Students who do not meet these requirements at the completion of two semesters at Union College will be enrolled under Academic Sanctions.

For questions or additional information on Ignite, contact Angela Washington (angela.washington@ucollege.edu).

How can we support your success at Union College?

Let us know! Stop by the Student Success Center or email studentsuccess@ucollege.edu. We can help contact you with your life coach / academic advisor.