Creating an Integrated Coaching Culture in Higher Education

Published:2024, Journal of Appreciative Education
J Appreciative Educ. 2024; 11: 15–24.
PMID: 38444840
Authors:Bradley JA, Tuck ME, Reynolds MA, Bradley LH
PMID:38444840 , PMCID:PMC10913097

Coaching, Near-peer mentoring, retention

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In higher education, it is a common ask to do more with less while delivering high-quality, holistic service to students. Coaching has been shown to produce significant gains in strengthening self-efficacy, improving GPA, and increasing retention through graduation, therefore making it a logical program to target for growth. To expand the impact of the University of Kentucky’s academic coaching program, in 2020, leadership modified the Appreciative Academic Coaching framework (Bradley & Reynolds, 2021) into Integrated Success Coaching with the intent to build a coaching culture across campus. This modification created a two-pronged approach to serving students, faculty, and staff across our campus: (a) training for professionally certified International Coaching Federation (ICF) coaches across six domains, including academic life, career, finances, wellness, leadership, and identity (e.g., First Gen) to directly serve students, and (b) training in foundational coaching skills for faculty, staff, and student leaders to incorporate into their daily practice. The evolution of this coaching model has allowed for holistic support of students and immersive coaching values and practices for faculty, staff, and student leaders that have led to improved retention and better GPA outcomes for students on probation and a culture of coaching care among faculty, staff, and students.