Skip to Main Content

Academic Coaching: Our approach to coaching

The GROW Model for PAC

GROW is one model of goal setting and problem solving used in coaching in diverse contexts and situations. It breaks down the elements of any issue to identifiable stages to facilitate progress and completion. In the context of Personal Academic Coaching, it can be used to help students take active responsibility for their own progress, through questioning that draws the solutions from them, rather than the coach giving them a pre- determined solution that the student might not own. GROW discourages coaches giving all the answers for everything. You can control their classroom experience and guide them to other support, trying to solve everything creates a dependent relationship that you cannot sustain, and long term does not help them progress and flourish as resilient individuals and autonomous learners.   

The GROW Model
Goal What?
Reality Where are they in relation to their goals? What skills do they already have that might help them in this? 
Options Help them explore the options available to them.
Way The way forward - the student to decide choice of option. Then create a plan of action of how to achieve the Goal set.

Our baseline commitment

  • That all new undergraduate and postgraduate students will be allocated a Personal Academic Coach post enrolment. For undergraduate this includes Foundation Year / Level 3/Level 0; Level 4 / Year 1, as well as direct entry to Level 5 / Year 2 and Level 6 / Year 3. The PAC model will be explained to new entrants as part of their induction and welcome to the University.
  • That in Year 1 / Level 4 or Year 0 / Level 3 (or Level 5 / Year 2, Level 6/ Year 3 for direct entry) they will meet with their PAC during, the first two weeks of Semester 1 in order to help get them off to a good start and to settle in.
  • That they will remain with the same coach, where possible, through the duration of their studies, to build effective relationships and feel that their individual journey is well understood.
  • If appropriate, for Year 3 / Level 6 the role of PAC may be combined with that of Dissertation or Independent Project Supervisor. PAC activity must however take a holistic approach considering whole course performance and professional / career support not just on that module.
  • That for all years there will be a minimum of two one-to-one meetings a year with their PAC on the pattern outlined.
  • Individual student tutorial sessions will be approx. 30 minutes duration.
  • A record of the sessions should be generated by the student with a copy given to the coach.
  • That these sessions are formally timetabled within the course to avoid clashes with taught sessions.
  • That the coaching sessions provide a space for holistic reflection on course progress, goal setting and future learning strategies, assessment and feedback, making the most of the careers opportunities and co-curricular offer at the University, to build learner confidence and personal capacity.