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This topic comes up a lot. Not many people are familiar with the concept of academic coaching. When I tell people what I do they say, ‘So you’re like a tutor?’

Well, not really. I am not a tutor. An academic coach is different from a tutor and helps students become independent learners who use various strategies when challenges arise.

So what’s the difference?

Generally, students and parents seek out a tutor for help with a specific subject because the student’s grades are poor in that subject. However, an academic coach helps a student with their overall approach to academics and the learning process. The student does not receive help with one subject, but guidance on how to approach school with various tools so that they can be successful and tackle challenges when they arise. A student does not have to have unsatisfactory grades to receive help from an academic coach. In fact, many A and B students have academic coaches to help them with time management and organization so as to reduce stress and anxiety, and improve their overall approach to their school work. In fact, many students choose to utilize both a tutor and academic coach depending on their needs. I know some great tutors that I love recommending to families.

These Examples Should Help Clear Up Misconceptions

Tutor: Helps student with math by teaching them more in depth about solving linear equations.

Academic Coach: Works with student to develop strategies that help the student focus and concentrate in class when the teacher is explaining how to solve linear equations.

Tutor: Helps student improve their punctuation, grammar, and writing though practice activities.

Academic Coach: Works with student to develop their thinking and writing process so they can complete research papers more efficiently.

Melanie Black of Student Futures is a certified academic life coach for students and teens. She has a passion to help students succeed. Academic coaching helps develop life skills for students as well as gives them academic strategies, which help to decrease anxiety and stress in students. Contact Melanie Black today for a free consultation at or (904) 487-8269.