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Academic Coaching

Too many bright students study past midnight to cram before tests, barely balancing their extracurriculars, homework, and other commitments. Too many parents struggle to teach their child to follow a day planner.

After seeing hundreds of students work harder, not smarter, when preparing for classes and studying for tests, we’ve created an Academic Coaching program that teaches students time management and scheduling skills so they can live up to their intellectual potential. Calendaring out assignments can provide order and structure to a teen’s life, so we employ the empathy and patience that teenagers need to teach the organization and precision that parents dream of.

The Benefits of Academic Coaching

Academic coaching boosts students’ in-class performance. Helping students develop efficient study habits and plan their homework gives them increased returns on their effort. Efficient studying means getting better grades with less stress, leaving more time for family and fun.

Academic coaching also improves parents! Using your limited family time to pester your child to complete their assignments sours relationships. Parents support their children’s education best when they can approach from a positive angle – not as harsh taskmasters or inquisitive nags. Delegating organizational coaching to experts lets you enjoy time with your child, secure that we’re helping them build the executive functioning skills they need to be successful adults.

So, how does this work?

Our Process

1. Initial Meetings

We begin by getting to know your student very well. We look to parents to give us background information and context for their child’s struggles, then look to the student to understand their day-to-day challenges.

Our first meeting is a parent-mentor meeting. We take a thorough developmental history, then listen to your assessment of their intellectual and emotional strengths, weaknesses, goals, and concerns. We methodically build our understanding of our student’s mindset and motivation, so we can give them the coaching they need.

Our next meeting is a student-mentor meeting. We review the issues your student wants to focus on, how their school assigns homework, what grading system the school uses, and the peculiarities which arise from each specific school and class. This includes an understanding of each school’s particular online portal, and how assignments are tracked, collected, and graded. This level of knowledge is necessary for us to know how to approach mentoring your student.

Studying these details allows us to track exactly what your student needs to do and when, as well as analyze how much each individual assignment matters to their overall grade. This allows us to calibrate and focus our efforts when we begin the check-ins.

2. Check-Ins

Once we understand our student’s schedule and struggles, we’ll get involved in the day-to-day minutiae of helping them manage their schedule. We start with 2-3 hour-long lessons to explore which time management strategies will work best for them, then decide on an approach and set up frequent, brief, check-ins. Check-ins happen up to 2 times per day, up to 4 times a week and generally last 10 minutes.

Check-ins hold students accountable. We break down the day’s homework and other responsibilities into concrete tasks, set expectations for how long each task should take, and set up an evening check-in to ensure work gets done as agreed. When students find their actions don’t meet with the expectations we’ve set, we help them navigate the complications they face. As a neutral party holding our students accountable, we balance between setting expectations for responsibility and providing empathic, growth-oriented support. By supervising a student’s time management, we impart good habits, and create a framework for success in school and beyond.

3. Proactivity and Responsibility

Reinforcing these traits is our long-term goal. We teach students to be proactive when reaching out to their peers and teachers, to have the confidence to admit when they need help, and to take responsibility for reaching their goals. By bolstering student’s confidence, and giving them new communications skills and strategies, we ensure they will find the support they need.

Alongside time management, proactivity is the most important skill we impart to our students. This proactivity gives them the willingness and ability to take control of their own academic lives and to reach out to teachers and their peers, and the confidence to admit when they need help.

Students may know a test is coming, but may not know exactly what it will cover, or have trepidation approaching a teacher for help outside of class. Our mentors work with students to bolster their confidence, and teach them when and how they should reach out. There are many people who are eager to help students succeed – your student just has to learn how to take that first step.

4. Results of Academic Coaching

Our goal is to empower students to succeed on their own by teaching them high quality habits. As students build their skills and confidence, we slowly reduce the frequency and duration of check-ins, allowing them to get used to excelling on their own.

Our Successes

Students are often smart enough to excel in their courses, but lack the tools to structure their study habits and meet critical deadlines. Academic coaching provides this structure, and helps raise struggling students back to the levels of academic achievement we know they’re capable of. On average, our students improve by one letter grade, or 10 percentage points.

Academic coaching is the best way to enable your child to succeed, because it gives them the tools to make the best use of their natural abilities. By focusing on process, we achieve more comprehensive and lasting results than tutoring which tackles a single subject at a time. We believe all students can excel giving the proper support, and we greatly enjoy helping them grow.

Start your journey to academic success.

5/5
Wendy Y.
Parent
Below is my son's review. He was accepted to his dream Ivy League school!

From an admitted student's perspective, I am incredibly grateful to have met Sasha - he has been instrumental in helping me achieve my educational dreams (Ivy League), all while being an absolute joy (he's a walking encyclopedia, only funnier!) to work with.

Many people are dissuaded from seeking a college counselor because they think they can get into their desired college(s) either way. Honestly, going that route is a bit short-sighted and can jeopardize your odds of acceptances after years of hard work. The sad truth is, the American education system (even if you attend a fancy private school and ESPECIALLY if you go to a public school) doesn't really tell students how to write a compelling and authentic application. Going into the admissions process alone, without speaking with an advisor, is like going to court without a lawyer - you put yourself at a significant disadvantage because you don't have all the facts in front of you, or the help you need to negotiate the system.

That said, you need a good lawyer just like you need a good college counselor. And that's where Sasha distinguishes himself from the crowd of people claiming they'll get you into Harvard. I came to Sasha worried about and frankly dumbfounded by the college admissions process. I was unsure what to write about and how to go about drafting the essay that perfectly captured my passion, interests, and self. And I was highly skeptical that anyone could really help me. But, damn, did Sasha prove me wrong. From the beginning, Sasha amazed me with his understanding of the process, and ability to lend clarity and direction to me when I desperate needed it. After interviewing me about my background, experiences, activities, outlook, and vision, he helped me see qualities about myself I had not previously considered 'unique' or 'stand-out.' This process of understanding myself was so incredibly important in laying the groundwork for the essays I eventually wrote, and I'm certain I would've drafted boring, inauthentic essays without it.

Looking back, Sasha's talent is that he can see where your strengths lie, even when you don't see them. The truth is, although we don't always realize it, everyone has a unique story to tell. Sasha helped me see mine, and with his big-picture insight I was able to write the application that truly encapsulated my life and vision. He inspired me to dig deeper and write better, challenging me to revise and revise until my essays were the most passionate and authentic work I had ever written. As clichéd as that sounds, that's really what universities are looking for. In retrospect, it makes sense - in the real world passionate (not simply intelligent) individuals are the ones who make a difference in the world, and those are the individuals colleges would like to have associated with their brand.

In the end, I was accepted to the college of my dreams, a feat I could not have achieved without the direction Sasha lent to me. Essays (and the personal narrative you develop through your application) matter so much, and can literally make or break your application. I have seen so many of my 'qualified' friends receive rejections because they wrote contrived essays that didn't truly represent who they were; conversely, I have also seen so many friends with shorter resumes accepted because they were able to articulate their story in a genuinely passionate and authentic way - I fall into the latter category.

As a former admissions officer at Johns Hopkins, Sasha knows what types of essays jibe well with universities, an invaluable asset to have in the admissions process. He is responsive, flexible, creative, positive, and witty. For anyone who is serious about going into the college admissions process informed and prepared, I highly recommend Sasha.
5/5
Arda E.
Student
I used Ivy Scholars to mainly help me with college applications. Within weeks of using this service, Sasha was able to simplify the already complex process. When it came to writing the Common App essay, Sasha didn’t just help with grammar and syntax, he brought my essays to life. Sasha also worked tirelessly to help solidify my extracurricular activities, including research and internship opportunities. Without his help, I would have never had an impressive resume.

Sasha is not only an extremely knowledgeable tutor, but also a genuine brother figure. His guidance, throughout my last two years of high school, was everything I needed to get me an acceptance letter from my dream schools (UC Berkeley, Tufts, Emory).

When it came to testing, Ivy Scholars worked like a charm. Sasha offered a very comprehensive plan when it came to completely acing my standardized tests. Without his test taking strategies I would have never gotten straight 5s on my AP tests and a 35 on the ACT.

Working with Sasha, I didn’t just become a good student, I became a genuine scholar.
5/5
Samson S.
Parent
We worked with Ivy Scholars during my son's senior year. I was concerned that we may be too late to take advantage of college advising but the Ivy Scholars team quickly and confidently directed us through the steps to ensure no deadlines were missed. Sasha's knowledge about schools, what they looked for in candidates, and how to maneuver the application process was invaluable. Mateo and Ryan worked with my son to help him create an essay that would get noticed and I am so appreciative he had their guidance.

Prior to securing Ivy Scholars, we tried using a less-expensive online service which was a terrible experience. As a parent, Ivy Scholars brought peace of mind to an area that was frankly overwhelming. This service was invaluable in the knowledge that we gained throughout the process. He has also met with my freshman daughter to provide guidance for her high school courses, career paths, extracurricular activities, and more.

Prior to signing with Ivy Scholars, I tried a less expensive online service and was very disappointed.

As a result of our work with Ivy Scholars, I am pleased to say that my son will be attending Stern Business School at New York University this fall! I highly recommend Ivy Scholars. Highly recommend!