Widener’s Success Coaches Help Students Unlock Their Full Potential

Gregory Potter, Associate Vice President for University Relations
Students in a residence hall room working on laptops

Adjusting to college life can be both exciting and overwhelming for students and their families. To make the transition as smooth as possible, Widener offers a variety of personalized coaching services for students that cover everything from academic excellence to well-being and personal growth.

First-Year-Experience Coaching, a service introduced this fall, has been designed specifically for the newest members of the Pride. As classes begin, incoming students will be introduced to their designated coaches via email, text, phone, or video. Throughout the year, the coaches will proactively reach out to students to ensure consistent support and guidance. Students will be encouraged to reach out to their coaches whenever they have questions, concerns, or simply want to discuss their experiences at Widener.

Success coaching can help students unlock their full potential and make the most of their time at Widener. From navigating university life to developing effective study habits, time management skills, and strategies for academic excellence, the coaches will cover a wide range of topics crucial for student success. Additionally, they will be focused on students' well-being, offering support in managing stress, enhancing mental health, and building a sense of belonging on campus with a strong network of support.

“Coaching helps students form a relationship with someone they can turn to for almost anything related to their Widener experience,” said Kim Robinson, executive director of the Office of Student Success. “The connection our coaches develop focuses on the whole student and gives them the strategies and tools they need to succeed in college, in their careers, and beyond.” 

The First-Year-Experience Coaching program will also collaborate with Widener’s many existing support services, providing quick campus referrals and promoting a comprehensive approach to student achievement. All of Widener’s coaches are experienced professionals who undergo rigorous training and certification to establish a genuine rapport and a personal bond with students.

In addition to coaching for incoming students, Widener also offers academic coaching services to all students through the Office of Student Success. Just like First-Year-Experience Coaching, these individually-tailored sessions provide ongoing support for academic performance, interpersonal skills, and other topics related to college life.

"Academic coaching was definitely one of the best experiences I had at Widener..." -Jessica Guarino '23

Jessica Guarino,’23, received her master’s in biomedical engineering through the university’s accelerated 4+1 program and participated in the coaching program throughout her Widener journey. Weekly meetings with her coach gave her comfort knowing that she had a friendly resource to help her succeed.

“Academic coaching was definitely one of the best experiences I had at Widener because it helped me build the time management and organizational skills I needed,” said Guarino. “The advice I received from my coach will help me in my future career, especially the self-advocation skills I gained along the way.”

Guarino added that her coaching meetings offered a comfortable space where she instantly felt stress relief knowing that she had support planning out her assignments for the coming week.

“Our faculty and staff are dedicated to fostering an environment where students thrive,” said Robinson. “With success coaches on their team, our students have an additional layer of support that helps them achieve their goals and dreams.” 

Heather Nault found that coaching gave her the confidence boost she needed to pursue her bachelor’s in liberal arts through Widener’s Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies. Her coach helped her navigate many aspects of the college experience that she was unfamiliar with.

“As a first-generation student, I didn’t have much guidance with college at all,” said Nault. “I was also an online student, so I had no idea what it would be like or what I needed to ask for.”

With the help of her coach, she was able to connect with a variety of student support services that have made a positive impact on her academics. 

“I have a much easier time now with my assignments and my school work,” said Nault. “It’s really been a life changer and coaching led me there.”

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