NACADA Web Event

Incorporating Coaching Conversations into Academic Advising Practice (DW87)

Online Webinar Presentation
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central Time

NACADA members register by January 7, 2019 to receive Early Bird Discount
Registration Deadline: Monday, February 4, 2019

Webinar Overview

As explained in the “Academic Coaching” section of the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources, coaching is an advising approach that can empower the student to reflect and act upon the range of goals, interests, and passions available in higher education, and academic advisors may incorporate coaching methods into their practice in order to address the whole student. Through coaching, students can develop their abilities to think critically, solve problems, overcome personal obstacles, discover their strengths, and generally make the most of their college experiences. Although the research on coaching is still new, it suggests that coaching can also support the kind of student engagement that leads to retention and completion – move them from just “surviving” to actually “thriving” in school.

In this webinar, sponsored by the NACADA Academic Coaching Advising Community, participants will learn about the basic premises of coaching, see a short coaching demonstration video, and encounter several models for implementing coaching in a higher education setting. The Presenters will share key coaching concepts and stories of educators who have successfully implemented coaching on their campuses in unique ways. Attendees will discover the value of utilizing coaching with students, hear about one model for coaching conversations, and have an opportunity to think of ways they might implement coaching on their campuses.

Academic Advising Core Competencies that will be addressed in this presentation include:

C4 – Understanding of academic advising approaches and strategies
C5 – Understanding of expected outcomes of academic advising
R2 – Ability to create rapport and build academic advising relationships
R4 – Ability to plan and conduct successful advising interactions
R6 – Ability to facilitate problem-solving, decision-making, meaning-making, planning, and goal setting


Gail Fairfield, Leader of Advisor Training & Development, Office of Completion & Student Success, Indiana University

Gail Fairfield has multiple years of experience as an academic advisor and as an advising administrator.  As part of the Indiana University Office of Completion and Student Success, she actively leads the development of best practices in advising and advising leadership, across the seven campuses of IU. As a certified academic coach, over the past two years, she’s: delivered 2-day coaching workshops to over 300 people across seven IU campuses; facilitated numerous shorter, introductory workshops for staff and student peer coaches; presented at regional, annual, and international NACADA conferences; and led coaching enhancement workshops such as Coaching Conversations for the Advising Leader, Coaching Conversations in Classrooms, and Coaching II. Gail’s 2017 NACADA Annual Conference presentation, How to Include Coaching Conversations in Academic Advising, was one of the top ten of the conference in both attendance and evaluation.

William H. Johnson (Bill), Life Design Catalyst Coach/Facilitator, Instructor in the School of Health and Human Sciences University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Bill Johnson coordinates the nationally-recognized, highly successful Life Design Catalyst (LDC) Program at UNCG, where he and his fellow Navigators/Coaches assist students (primarily first-year students) to optimize their lives in order to create the best version of themselves and be in service to something bigger than themselves. The program has impacted hundreds of students over the past three years and has been recognized in the Chronicle of Higher Education and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a Best Advising Practice. In addition, he facilitates the Life Design Catalyst Coach Training Program, a train-the-trainer program for students, faculty, and staff in higher education interested in incorporating purpose and meaning as the foundation of student (and life) success. He has trained over 400 Life Design Catalyst Coaches representing 57 institutions across the country. He is affectionately known around the country as the "The Dream Dean."  Bill’s 2017 NACADA Annual Conference presentation, Reinventing Academic Advising and Coaching with Life Design in Mind, received rave reviews from almost 200 attendees.

Kathleen Shea Smith, Associate Provost for Academic Advising, The University of Oklahoma

Kathleen Shea Smith is responsible for overseeing advising services at The University of Oklahoma to ensure that each individual student is on a pathway to academic fulfillment and degree completion. She serves as a member of the retention team and leads academic advising initiatives that promote campus collaboration, the consistent implementation of policies, and the removal of barriers to graduation. Since her arrival at OU, she has introduced coaching as a key retention strategy, believing it offers a solid framework for deeper conversations and empowering mentorship. In the past year, 28 campus professionals have completed a certification in Academic Life Coaching, an International Coach Federation accredited program.  A group is currently working on a Coaching to Flourish model that encompasses eight specific competencies based on research examining student success and progress to degree. In two years, the first to second year retention rate at OU has risen from 86% to 92%.  Kathleen’s 2017 NACADA Annual Conference presentation, Academic Life Coaching: Gateway to the Inner Student, received outstanding evaluations and was recommended by participants to be taken into other venues.

Linnette C. White, Lead Advisor, Indiana University School of Medicine–West Lafayette

Linnette White, current Chair of the NACADA Academic Coaching Advising Community, has more than 20 years of academic advising experience and administrative experience.   As part of the Indiana University School of Medicine-West Lafayette, she serves as an advisor to professional students in the medical program.  Prior to this role, she advised professional students in pharmacy.  Linnette serves on an advising team that seeks to empower professional students by guiding them through their academic progress, career development and leadership development.  She serves as and as a member of the Purdue Coaching Community-Purdue West Lafayette.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, True Colors Licensed Facilitator, and Qualified Administrator-Intercultural Development Inventory.  She received a certificate in Academic Coaching through LifeBound.

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