Academic Support

Union College is committed to helping students achieve their academic and life goals. In support of this commitment, the Teaching Learning Center provides academic services to all Union College students. There are several ways a student can find assistance, including:

  • talking to their professor,
  • going to their division for tutoring,
  • attending study and tutoring labs,
  • studying with their classmates
  • and by coming to the TLC.

At the TLC, we provide support through Personal Academic College Coaching (PACC) and tutoring. Additionally, the TLC coordinates the Integrated College Experience (ICE) and Freshman Enrichment (FE) programs.

Core academic coaching goals

The TLC programs are designed to give students individualized support so they may get the most out of their Union College experience. Since 1978, the TLC has provided and developed academic coaching to help students in their journey from specific tasks ("How do I approach this assignment?") to general questions ("What do I want to accomplish in life?"). As a result of providing this service for more than 40 years, we have developed common core goals within academic coaching. These goals assist in providing tools, direction, and sustainable outcomes for the student.

Eight common goals in academic coaching

  1. Read actively—read to learn
  2. Develop, set and obtain goals using the SMART and GROW method
  3. Predict success or failure based on personal behavior
  4. Understand and use appropriate “STUDY” skills compatible with learning style
  5. Understand internal and external locus of control
  6. Acquire understanding, knowledge and practice communication style
  7. Identify and use resources
  8. Think critically in order to modify study habits and schedule without prompting

Coaching sessions

Coaching is designed as an alliance between a coach and a student. It is an individualized process which helps students identify their scholastic goals, and its purpose is to support students toward achieving these goals by providing structure, support, feedback, and encouragement.

Coaching is very different from therapy. Therapy deals with healing psychological issues and is generally very long-term and intensive, dealing with personal history as well as cognitive and behavioral development. Coaching is very proactive and does not deal with psychological issues. Coaching acknowledges personal history but focuses on skill development and implementation of new strategies that benefit the student in achieving their goals and becoming more fulfilled and better equipped to meet the daily challenges of college life.

In academic coaching, the coach and student design an alliance together that is synergistic in nature. They co-engineer the process as a team so as to avoid a situation of “nagging.” The roles of each are clearly defined in the beginning. Together they decide what to do and how to do it. A system of accountability is set up that is comfortable for both.

What students say ...

  • "I would not have made it if it weren’t for my coach."
  • "My coach cares about what I have to say so I am always happy to talk to her."


Some students GPA and ACT scores may make them eligible for admissions through the Freshman Enrichment or the Integrated College Experience program. Each program is designed to support students in their first college experience.

Freshman Enrichment (FE)

Lasting one-semester, students accepted through the FE program will be matched with an academic coach, register for up to 15 credit hours, and have an advisor in their major. Students are required to meet with their academic coach and maintain a 2.0 GPA.

What students say ...

  • "Their help keeps you on track."
  • "I feel a whole lot better about school now."
  • "I’m glad I got to learn more and have help along the way. It was a good start."

Integrated College Experience (ICE)

This one-year program is designed to focus on college life, career planning, and tools for lifelong learning. Students accepted through the ICE program will be matched with an academic coach, register for up to 15 credit hours, have an advisor specific to the ICE program, enroll in the CORE 109/FOCUS General Studies course and the TLCM 111 course, and participate in academic community outings. Students are required to meet with their academic coach and to complete 24 credit hours with a minim 2.0 GPA.

What students say ...

  • "I learned a lot here, and I know that I will succeed because of the good help." 
  • "Everyone made me feel comfortable and actually listened when I needed to be heard."

Personal Academic College Coaching (PACC)

The Personal Academic College Coaching program is for any student looking to increase, strengthen, and grow academically and as a life-long learner. Students who meet with an academic coach through the PACC program design a coaching plan that fits the goals of the student. Some examples might be: increase work productivity, be a step ahead through organization, and better manage and balance time. Participation is voluntary and available per availability of TLC staff.

The PACC program is also available to assist students who may find themselves on Academic Probation or Academic Alert. This may become part of their academic probation plan that is created between the Associate VP of Academic Initiatives and the student. Coaching is designed to assist the student in creating a plan to be successful and move towards being removed from probation status.

What students say ...

  • "My academic coaches are very easy to talk to."
  • "My coach taught me useful study strategies."
  • "She did such a wonderful job, and the information learned was useful. You are great and I love your advice. It helps me a lot."
  • "Seeing Debbie has been a very valuable resource for me. She taught me how to do my best in my classes and different ways to excel."


The TLC provides free one-on-one peer tutoring to all students. Submit the online tutor request if you are interested in a tutoring appointment.