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Who could benefit from academic/dissertation coaching?

The biggest problem with today’s grad school programs is that they’ve eliminated the mentoring component. It is rare to find a professor/advisor/chair who has the time to properly mentor a grad student between teaching, administrative, and research duties. This often leaves students without much guidance or preparation for the academic journey. Hiring an experienced coach is an investment in your academic success and pays dividends for the rest of your career.


 It does not replace or negate the relationships that the student has with faculty or the guidelines that must be followed at school. It is meant to be a supportive and collaborative relationship, rather than a directive one.


Where does coaching happen?

Most coaching is over the phone or via video conferencing. This is convenient for both you and me since it eliminates travel time and allows for more hours of availability. It also means I can work with you no matter where in the world you’re located at the time of our appointment. We do offer in-person coaching for local Southern California grad students. 


What days/hours are sessions offered?

Coaching sessions can be conducted at any time: during school/work hours or during evening hours. A limited number of weekend time slots are also available.


How often do you meet with clients?

Coaching works best in regular sessions. This usually means weekly or bi-weekly sessions, with occasional weeks off (for vacations, holidays, or time to work on large-scale projects, etc.). Sessions are 50 minutes each.


How long does someone typically need coaching?

The coaching process is transformative and takes time. Beyond the skill-building, we’re helping you to take control of your life's direction. For work at this level, coaching typically lasts at least 2-3 months, depending on one’s readiness for change and the scope of his/her needs. Progress is dependent on several variables (such as how motivated the individual is, how self-aware he/she is, how narrow or broad the established goals are, and how long the challenges have been present).


A highly motivated but disorganized person may need just a couple of months to learn, practice and internalize a new plan for managing his/her daily life. By contrast, a person who is easily frustrated, struggles with attentional challenges, and doesn’t know how to get work done on time, might need more than a year to learn the specific skills he will need and to apply them independently.


Our goal is to help you achieve confidence, competence, and independence as quickly as possible - once we've reached that point, you may not need weekly sessions because you'll have learned important skills and established good habits that can keep you moving forward with less coaching.


How will I know if you are the right coach for me?
During our initial email exchanges and exploratory consult session, we will explore if we are a good fit. So, before you have to make any decisions, you will have a sample of what the coaching experience would be like. One sign that we can work well together is if we come to the end of our discussion and you have had an enjoyable time, feel optimistic and energized, and have a clear plan about what you can do next to forward your goals.


How do I get started with coaching?
If you are interested in signing up for coaching, complete a Contact Us form to let us know. We will reply within 24 business hours to give you more information about scheduling a free exploratory session and then we can see if we’d be a good match for a coaching arrangement.


Can I contact you between scheduled coaching sessions?
Of course. If you would like support on something before our next scheduled meeting, you can contact me and we can arrange some ad hoc time or for an additional session.


What about my chair?

A doctoral coach is very different from your chair or advisor. Chairs are paid by the university to execute many duties and functions—teaching, publishing, committee memberships, enthusiastic-seeming appearances at the dean’s parties, etc. He/she is probably overburdened with such duties and would have great difficulty giving each one of his/her students the level of support and attention that we are discussing.


And, quite honestly, your chair may not want to prioritize your long phone calls, frustrations over how you can’t manage your time, incessant complaints about the obtuse literature, or exhaustion due to trying to balance your partner and/or kids. Your chair, after all, is there to critique your semi-finished work, not necessarily to help you get through all the emotional obstacles to producing it.


How much does it cost?

I am sensitive to the financial realities that most grad students have to endure. While many academic and/or dissertation coaches are charging $90-150 per hour and up to $500 for helping with a single dissertation/thesis, I don't believe reaching out for help should become an additional source of stress. 


Sessions last approximately 60 minutes and cost $75 each. While it is recommended that you have a session weekly or biweekly, the length and frequency of sessions can be tailored to your schedule and needs.


Reduced rates are available if you purchase sessions as a package.

  • Purchase four sessions for $270 (10% discount off the regular rate)

  • Purchase eight sessions for $510 (15% discount off the regular rate)

  • Purchase twelve sessions for $720 (20% discount off the regular rate)


What if I don't know how many hours of help I'll need - are there any other options?

Absolutely. Especially for those who feel like they may need more support in the coming weeks/months (whether to help regain control of life, help survive a heavy term of classes or because a big writing deadline is coming up), there is a monthly coaching option. This option allows for much more ongoing support over the course of a calendar month (whether emails, phone calls, multiple sessions per week, or additional editing assistance) without the stress of worrying about how much time is left on the clock. 


Monthly rates are:

  • One month of doctoral support for $808

  • Two months of doctoral support for $1536 (5% discount off the monthly rate)

  • Four months of doctoral support for $2910 (10% discount off the monthly rate)

Need another option?

While quality coaching services are not cheap, we are happy to try and match your budget. You can also save money by taking advantage of our referral rewards program.

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