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Academic coaches work with students with disabilities to provide regular coaching sessions focusing on helping students develop strategies and skills for academic success.

The service is offered to students registered for classes at the University of Iowa and is available at no cost. Academic coaches will assist students in skill development in the following areas:

  • Executive functioning such as juggling multiple tasks and planning/prioritizing
  • Self-advocacy for navigating their college experience
  • Self-management for academic and career paths
  • Interpersonal communication skills

Interested in meeting one-on-one with an academic coach?

For students who are already registered with our office and are interested in meeting one-on-one with an academic coach, please fill out this eight question Interest survey and we will be in touch with you about working with one of our coaches.

About the Academic Coaching Program

Student Disability Services piloted an Academic Coaching Program for the Spring 2021 semester. The program was a success and has been renewed every semester since then including this 2023-2024 academic year.  Our Coaches for this academic year are: Alexis Farnsworth, Chloe Rohlf, Carly Baran, Signe Dobbs, Michael Matthews and Katie Stroud.

If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact Vickie Houser.

The Academic Coaching Program is possible through a generous gift from a private donor.


Surveys were completed at the end of each semester which garnered some positive quotes about the program:

The academic coaching program has been the most beneficial service I have received from SDS. Working with a student who understands the way my disability impacts my learning was incredibly validating and my academic coach helped me stay on track all semester.
The Academic Coaching Program has shown me that I truly am capable of achieving as much and possibly even more, like everyone else on this campus.
My academic coach was phenomenal and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I was very lucky to work with her for the past year. I am graduating, otherwise I would 100% want an academic coach again.
I was lucky to have my coach. She was outstanding in her approach to supporting my self-growth and academic goals. I am grateful for her maturity and respect that she displayed throughout the semester as well as her attentiveness and creative care strategies.
Support is so beneficial to achieving our goals. My coach supported me and helped me implement ways that I can support myself and be open-minded to letting others (peers, teachers, TA’s) help me along my academic journey also.
I have learned that it’s okay to have a lot on my plate. I need to take things step by step and everything will get figured out. I can create study plans and utilize resources around me to help me be successful. My academic coach has been absolutely a blessing and I’m so lucky to have worked with her.
I think this has helped me tremendously. Having someone to have your back when you feel like no one in the world does, helped with my overall confidence in school. My coach was truly a delight to work with. At the end of this semester I felt as though I had become a better student in the short time we had to work together. This has been an incredibly positive experience for me, and feel lucky to have this support. That you for this experience and thank you for the resources to succeed.