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The Impact of Academic Coaching at Montgomery College

Guest post by the Achieving the Promise Academy at Montgomery College

Coaches, Scrubs & Rubber Gloves: A Closer Look at Academic Coaching in Nursing

With heightened health consciousness and increased demand for nurses in the county, Montgomery College has committed to doubling the number of students who graduate from the nursing program. How are academic coaches with the Achieving the Promise Academy contributing to this important goal?

At MC, nursing students have long benefited from several layers of holistic support and targeted academic assistance, such as learning skills support specialists who provide academic support for students enrolled in all of MC's health sciences programs.

In an effort to help launch even more nursing careers, the nursing program has become the latest department to partner with ATPA to focus additional academic support in courses with historically high DFW rates. For students taking courses like Nursing 126, which teaches students to care for the specialized needs of older patients, embedded coaches are now offering weekly coaching sessions, additional support for difficult course concepts, and personalized assistance to students referred to the program's Skills Lab for further clinical skills practice.

In a recent ATPA survey, a nursing student shared, “Academic coaching was of great help to me, especially with my second 126 Mental Health exams. Coach Janet Frazier was so patient [...] breaking down every little thing I needed to know from my textbook. I felt so comfortable and was able to read all the required chapters and answer questions that I made from the learning objectives. After the meeting with her, I went over my textbook and it was like ABC to me. Janet Frazier is a wonderful coach.”

Expanding the number of students who complete a nursing degree also requires MC to help more students succeed with pre-nursing coursework. In those courses, embedded academic coaches are helping students develop the fundamental knowledge, skills, habits, and mindsets they'll need to earn acceptance into the nursing program--and go on to become successful nurses in the future.

As a full-time embedded coach specializing in Biology and Chemistry, Dr. Soheila Ebrahimian coaches many students working to build skills in pre-nursing courses. Dr. E comments on how she helps students develop these skills early in their academic journeys at MC:

“These students come from similar life situations, [such as] adult students who have families, children and full or part-time jobs already. Being in science courses is intimidating for them. A misconception about nursing is that students don’t consider it a science. My goal is to build a support system for these students in which they feel they belong, they can do this; I am building their confidence as scientists. Of course, I offer content support, but I am also building their spirit as future nurses.”

Learn more about Achieving the Promise Academy here, and learn more in the Montgomery College Video, “Post-pandemic: Growing the Healthcare Workforce to Help the County Thrive” here.

Montgomery College Foundation is a partner of Crimsonbridge’s College Success program.


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