Academic Coaching differs from tutoring in many ways, but the most important distinction is one of focus.  An Academic Coach focuses on developing core organization and study skills in the context of the student’s current workload.  A Tutor typically focuses on the short term re-teaching of subject specific content.

Here is a quick reference as to the differences between the two and when each might be most appropriate.

Academic Coach

  • Teaches and practices skills that can be applied across all subject areas and used throughout their academic career.
  • Weekly sessions reinforce theses skills by incorporating them into their regular school-work and receive feedback and support from the coach.
  • Weekly monitoring creates routine and structure.
  • Mastery of skills gives the student a sense of control over their academic success.

An Academic Coach is most appropriate when:

  • Student wishes to improve overall performance across subject areas.
  • Student is disorganized and has difficulty managing his or her school life.
  • A student has been dependent on their natural abilities to succeed.
  • A student’s success is coming at the expense of stress or anxiety.
  • Declining results are affecting the student’s confidence and effort.


  • Re-teaches subject specific content that a student is struggling to understand.
  • Does not address the reasons why a student is struggling with content.
  • Places responsibility for learning on the teacher and the tutor, instead of the student.
  • On-going tutoring can create a dependency if the student prefers to be taught one-on-one instead of in a classroom setting. A Tutor can become a substitute for learning in the classroom.

 A Tutor is most appropriate when:

  • Goals are short term and specific (eg. one coarse, a specific exam)
  • Catching up on missed content or gaps in knowledge base.
  • Going back to improve basic math skills


Academic Coach or Tutor? Is tutoring right for you?Academic Coaching Vs Tutoring: 3 Ways A Coaching Relationship Can Enhance Performance

Tutoring is the go-to remedy for academic problems, but is it always the right answer? Coaching is a technique that goes beyond helping a student succeed in a specific subject. Coaches introduce your child to intangible skills that translate across different subjects and different challenges in life. In this article, we look at 3 ways a coaching relationship can enhance academic performance.


1. Coaching Introduces Skills That Overlap Into Other Areas

While tutoring is specific to a subject, an assignment or a test, coaching introduces your child to skills that they can use in other areas of their lives. Coaches create a safe environment to expand your child’s perspective on the factors that influence their success. Coaching is a great first step to help students realize that “being bad at math” is not the reason for their poor performance.

One of the best things a coach can do is create awareness around how students likes to learn. Coaches help students find out if they perform best by listening, reading, watching or acting on the information they need to learn. Having your child realize there are certain things he or she need to do if they want to be successful will help break negative mindsets around not being good in a subject. Once students realizes that simple things like staying organized or recording their notes to listen later help them perform better, they’ll become less likely to blame external sources for their performance.

Through coaching, your child will identify their blind spots and develop critical thinking skills. Coaches help students build awareness of areas that they struggle in (such as organization or time management) and introduce strategies they can use to improve performance. While a tutor will educate your child about a specific problem they face in their class, a coach will equip him or her with the skills and tools to overcome similar problems in the future.

2. Coaching Addresses The Root Cause Of Academic Struggles

Coaching is an excellent resource for helping students overcome mental and emotional blocks. Problems at home, low self-confidence, and frustration from poor performance are common things that can cause a mental block or a negative attitude towards schoolwork. A coach helps guide students thorough these problems by introducing them to tools they can rely on for support.

Coaching is a way you can take your child’s ability to learn beyond just remembering facts. Coaches will introduce your child to self-leadership and self-management skills that improve performance and empower the student to succeed.

Coaching gets students focused on the present. Overthinking the future and running multiple “what if” scenarios in your brain leads to anxiety and difficulty focusing on what matters. Coaches introduce students to strategies for staying present while helping them find which strategies best suit their personality and temperament. Mindset is a crucial intangible that has a significant impact on how students perceive and perform and school.

3. Coaches Get Students Engaged

A 2014 article published in the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences journal studied the careers of students entering West Point Military Academy over 14 years. During that time, researchers assessed the motives for attending the academy of over 10,000 students. The results found that cadets who entered West Point academy because of internal motivators were more likely to graduate, become commissioned officers, receive promotions, and stay in the military.

Even when considering other factors such as gender, religion, race, prior academic performance and socioeconomic background, intrinsically motivated cadets were still found 20% more likely to make it through west point academy.

2017 research published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience noted that while intrinsic motivation is powerful, it still depends on fulfilling a few of our basic psychological needs, especially the desire to feel effective and the need to feel willing to do the task at hand.

Coaches help fulfil these psychological needs by equipping your child with the tools to succeed. When students know how they like to learn and what techniques they need to use to be successful, they become more confident in taking on problems, regardless of the subject. Students that receive coaching feel more in control of their academic performance because they know where to turn when things start to get difficult.

Working one on one with a coach is a powerful way to get your child fully engaged with their journey through school. Students that work with coaches have increased awareness of the consequences of their actions or inaction. When students know what they need to do to be successful, they are more willing to hold themselves accountable and go the extra mile on their volition.

What people are saying about us

  • I would like to thank our coach and your organization for giving my son a great opportunity to improve. He is much more responsible now and understands the importance of working hard as well as how to work and organize himself.

    Chieko(mother of grade 10 student)
  • Thanks for your good work with our son – I believe we are starting to see some positive changes and improvements. He seems to have a positive attitude overall and he is getting at his work on his own initiative which is good to see.

    David(father of grade 12 student)
  • Our daughter feels much more confident and on top of her work and comments often about how strong her marks have become. She feels that her sessions with you have been a big reason for the turn around.

    Sharon(mother of grade 8 student)
  • Thank you very much for providing such a very helpful facility for my daughter. She has benefited so much from the program, not only for her present situation but I think for life. Your coaches were excellent and they gave her the motivation, guidance, self-confidence and self-esteem that she lacked.

    Sandora(mother of grade 12 student)
  • Our coach works hard with our son in helping him approach his academic studies with more maturity, effectiveness and independence. Our son has responded well to his mentors coaching and guidance.

    Barbara(mother of grade 11 student)