Coaching Program


photo of peer coaches

The Coaching Program’s staff works to ensure students’ success through the programs and services offered.

  • Students meet weekly with a peer coach to share any concerns or day-to-day problems they are facing while pursuing their goals.
  • Through social events and programs, students have the opportunity to interact with each other, their peer coaches, the coaching staff, UMKC officials and community members.
  • The Coaching Program staff provides day-to-day support for students and peer coaches. In addition, the program coordinator oversees all of the components of the program, and serves as an advocate for the students’ interests, both on and off campus.
  • The Coaching Program offers coaching students special sections of the University’s required orientation course with a special emphasis on building of study skills, learning strategies and critical thinking techniques.
  • Academic Success Workshops are held two times per week throughout the semester. The success workshops are mandatory for students on financial aid contracts and certain scholarship groups. The sessions have a different focus each week and include topics such as campus resources, financial responsibility, academic policies, and study skills and testing strategies.

  • History

    The H&R Block Foundation approached UMKC in the Fall of 2004 with concerns about how to best serve their scholarship students at the University. The Foundation sought to provide their students with additional academic support and coaching, and wanted to open this opportunity up to other students at UMKC as well. Collaborations between the Foundation and UMKC’s Office of Student Affairs identified the need to develop what today is known as the Coaching Program. During the first year, the program served 83 students and employed 18 coaches, and increased to 135 students and 33 coaches the second year. The program's goal is to serve help all students who need academic assistance and increase retention numbers across campus.


    Program results

    The Coaching Program's result is measured by the retention rate and GPA of students from one fall to the next. If freshmen students re-enroll for their sophomore year, then the program is considered successful. 

    • The Fall 2005–Fall 2006 retention rate for the program was 77.6 percent compared to the University's retention rate of 71 percent, and the Program only increased the following year to 88.75 percent.

    • In Fall 2006, 40 percent of the Program's students had GPAs between 3.0-4.0; and 39 percent had GPAs between 2.00-2.99. In Fall 2005, 48 percent had GPAs between a 3.0-4.0, and 33 percent between 2.0-2.99. 


    Coaching Program participants:

    “I think that the Coaching Program was rewarding. It allowed us to discuss issues that aren’t necessarily thought about on a day-to-day basis. The coaches were very nice, considerate and knowledgeable.”
    “The program was a good one. I learned a lot over the length of the semester. The coach was very informative and allowed for thoughts and feelings to be shared. The group was great and I enjoyed the interaction with my peers.”
     “Being in the Coaching Program at UMKC has allowed me to get involved more. It gives me the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things.”

    Peer Coach feedback:

    “I enjoy the Coaching Program and being able to help someone out with anything that they have questions about. I enjoy being the person that people come to with problems or questions.”
     “One of my students has made my experience as a coach very fulfilling. Every session we have, I am able to help her with something. I am able to give advice about studying, classes, the quickest way to get to a building, just about everything – and it is so fulfilling when my advice helps her succeed or achieve something every time.”

    For more information on the Coaching Program, e-mail the program coordinator.