Lend an ear to a peer

The podcast studio erupts with laughter while recording.

Academic Peer Coaching is a program at Weber State University designed to help students through challenges that come with college life. Through the program, students can meet with certified peer coaches or listen to the new College Opportunities and Cultivating Habits podcast.

COACH, which started in fall 2022, adds a convenient form of student aid, allowing students to listen on their commute to school, at the gym, for a Wildcat date night and more. The podcast episodes share tips for college students to succeed, as well as share information about additional student resources on campus.

“It’s like super quick little sessions with us, but in podcasts, if they don’t have time to meet with us,” Katelynn Ewell, a certified peer educator and WSU junior, said. “They can go onto the podcasting site, and they can find, like, say they’re struggling with motivation. We have a ton of podcasts on motivation.”

The skills shared by Academic Peer Coaches are different from the ones tutors may give students. Instead of course-specific aid, coaches will give general help on becoming a better student.

“It’s always good to have an extra pair of eyes to figure out how you can improve in your studies and as a student, and it’s always nice to have an accountability buddy as well,” Ewell said.

If a professor thinks a student could benefit from this resource, they can refer students to the Academic Peer Coaching team through Starfish.

“What we really do is mostly in-class and out-of-class strategies,” Ewell said. “So let’s say you’re struggling with procrastination. We’re great to meet with for that. We talk about test-taking strategies, time management, basically how to succeed as a student.”

Coaches are available to meet with students for one-on-one meetings. Coaching sessions can be in person or conducted virtually. Saxony Ruckman, a certified peer educator and WSU junior, encouraged students to take advantage of the resource.

“Our focus is academic and … college stuff, but it’s also stuff that’s applicable to everywhere,” Ruckman said. “We talk about time management. You’re going to deal with that forever, so it’s really a good resource for students to build a base as they work into their careers and that kind of stuff.”

The coaches are looking for faculty members, club members, mentors and other individuals involved in WSU organizations to interview on their podcast. Individuals interested in being a part of COACH can email [email protected].

To set up a meeting with a certified coach or to access the podcast go to weber.edu/academicpeercoaching or Apple Podcasts. Follow @wsuacademicpeercoaching on Instagram to stay updated on COACH as well as resources available through the program.