Academic Coaching


What is academic coaching? Academic Coaching is an available resource for students on Academic Warning or facing academic difficulty. Our goal is for students to improve their daily habits, manage their time efficiently and productively, feel confident in setting goals, and apply effective learning strategies. Rather than advise students in the selection of their courses, major, and career options, the Academic Coach works with the student to develop successful habits by taking advantage of their unique strengths, and supporting them in the efforts to articulate and achieve their goals.

Check out the biographies for our Academic Coaches!

Who would benefit? Academic Coaching is for students seeking additional academic support, a mentoring relationship, or help utilizing resources and securing academic goals.  Students at any level that are devoted to improving their study habits and test scores should consider academic coaching.

How do I schedule an appointment? At this time, we can only offer Academic Coaching to those advised by Academic Advising Services. Let your advisor know if you are interested in setting up an appointment with an academic coach.

Coaching structure: Academic Coaching provides organizational assistance and educational strategies designed specifically to help students improve their academic performance. Through weekly meetings, students are offered continual support to improve their overall academic standing and evaluating their strengths, study habits and goals. 

Topics discussed will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Time Management: Manage procrastination by setting achievable goals and schedules
  • Effective Note Taking: Learn the best way to take and organize notes for your learning style
  • Study Skills: Go beyond memorization by using deep learning methods
  • Test Anxiety: Reduce stress and test anxiety by taking control of your learning
  • Effective Resource Utilization: Find resources for supporting your short and long term goals
  • Test Preparation: Demonstrate knowledge by improving your test-taking strategies

If you are interested in working on specific strategies, feel free to check out some of the resources utilized in our meetings.


Who are our Academic Coaches?

LeNelle Patrick

LeNelle has been working in higher education for the past 16 years mainly in academic advising and career planning. She has worked at NC State in First Year College and Academic Advising Services for the past three years as an Academic Advisor and Academic Coach. She enjoys working with college students and exploring their many options. LeNelle earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in Child Development and Business Administration. She also earned a Masters of Education in Counseling. When she is not running after her three boys she enjoys reading, traveling and being with family and friends.

Alison McLaughlin


Alison is currently a first year PhD student in the Counselor Education program at NC State and a graduate intern for First Year College/Academic Advising Services.  She graduated in May 2013 from East Carolina University with her master's degree in Counselor Education specializing in clinical mental health counseling and college counseling and student affairs.  Alison got her BA in psychology from NC State and is very happy to be back at her Alma mater, where she met her husband at the Wolfline bus stop.  Alison enjoys reading, hiking, yoga, and spending time with her husband, family, and friends.


Lisa Latronica

Lisa is currently a second year master's student in the Higher Education Administration program here at NC State. She works as the Residence Director in Metcalf Hall as well as completing her internship in the First Year College advising office. After graduation in May, she plans to continue working with students in housing, student involvement, leadership development, or student conduct. Lisa graduated in May 2012 with a degree in Art History and Studio Arts from Loyola University Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys baking, painting, photography, Pinterest, and exploring new cities.

Sara Miller

Sara is currently a senior as an undergraduate student at NC State. Her major is Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Accounting. On top of Academic Coaching, she also works for NC State Student Media. After graduating in May, Sara is going to begin her career with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in Charlotte, North Carolina. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends and her sorority sisters, going shopping, being active, and reading.


Sarah Pickel

Sarah works in the Academic Affairs Office for the College of Natural Resources here at NC State. Working on completing her Master's in Higher Education Administration, in the future she plans to continue advising students as an academic or career advisor. She completed her bachelor's degree in Strategic Communication and Marketing from The Ohio State University in 2009 and has been working in higher education since then. When she isn't busy with school and work, Sarah likes decorating and DIY projects for her home, discovering new recipes, and watching movies with her husband and puppy.


Meredith Pierson

Meredith graduated from UNC Pembroke in 2011 with a BS in Mass Communication-Public relations. She is in her final year of graduate school at NC State University, graduating in May 2014 with a masters degree in Counselor Education specializing in college counseling and student development.  She is currently interning at NC State with Student Support Services and as an Academic Coach for First Year College.  In the future she hopes to work as a college counselor.  In her free time she enjoys running, spending time with family, and traveling.

Erica Sauls

Erica is currently a first year master's student in the Higher Education Administration program here at NC State. She works as the manager of Information Services for NC State's University Student Centers, and enjoys providing Academic Coaching to students on her days off. Erica graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May of 2012 with a degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication Studies.  Most of her free time is spent traveling, hanging out with friends, or playing with her dog, Kiyah.

Taylor Tharrington

Taylor is currently a Junior here at NC State University. She is majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Human Resources, and a minor in Spanish. She currently holds a leadership position in her sorority, Delta Gamma, as well as working as an Academic Coach for the First Year College advising office. After Spring semester, she plans to complete a summer internship with a large company in either Marketing or Human Resources. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, cooking, and traveling

Abigail Zwilling

Abby graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in Psychology in 2012. She is now in her final year of graduate school at East Carolina University and will graduate in May 2014 with her master’s degree in Counselor Education specializing in higher education. She is currently interning as an Academic Coach for the First Year College Advising Office and hopes to continue working at a university when she graduates. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking and planning her upcoming June 2014 wedding.


Resources/Tips for Common Issues Students Face

NC State Resources:

NCSU Tutoring Info

Tutoring by Subject

MATH 114 assistance


Additional Resources:

How to Study

Time Management

Five Day Study Plan

How to Study Different Subjects in College

How to Concentrate

Motivation (Worcester Polytechnical Institute – WPI)

How to be healthy and why does it matter

How to reduce stress

How to read textbooks (WPI)

Attending lectures and taking notes (WPI)

How to Read Difficult Material

Homework and problem solving (WPI)

Improve your memory (WPI)

How to get the most out of college video series

Homework Organizer (Iowa State University)

How To Create a Mind Map

How to Calculate a GPA

How do I calculate my major GPA?This link will open in a new window

Learning and Memory-what is the connection (Duke University)

How to Take Notes from a Power point presentation (Cal Newport)-

Knowing your MBTI Learning Style

How To Take a Multiple Choice Test (UWEC)

How to take an Essay Test (IU)

Sleep and your Brain