Student News

Q&A: Learn about Group Coaching

Final review sessions from Transformative Learning.
Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 22, 2024) — Transformative Learning (TL), housed in the University of Kentucky Office for Student Success, is a centralized student support unit on campus — a student’s one-stop shop for on-campus academic resources.  

TL offers Group Coaching, a stress-free, judgment-free way for students to develop the skills they need to be successful in college and beyond, while connecting with peers and certified Integrated Success Coaches in a collaborative environment.

UKNow talked with Trevor Tierney, an Integrated Success Coach within Transformative Learning, to discuss how Group Coaching’s unique, not-“one size fits all” approach leads to student success.

UKNow: What services does Transformative Learning offer? 

Tierney: TL is UK’s centralized learning center. TL has three programmatic areas: Peer Supporting Learning, Academic Preparation and Achievement, and Integrated Success Coaching that are here to support students early and often. TL and the corresponding programs were created to provide holistic support to students to create opportunities to gain invaluable study skills and strategies for success.   

UKNow: What role do you play in Transformative Learning? 

Tierney: I am an Integrated Success Coach within Transformative Learning. My role primarily comprises of meeting one-on-one with students to help them find success in whatever areas of life are most important to them. As a coach, my job is to connect with students, to actively listen, ask thought-provoking questions and help students form specific and realistic action plans to improve their lives. I also oversee our Group Coaching program, where we provide coaching experiences to groups of up to 30 students. 

UKNow: How does Integrated Success Coaching meet the needs of students?  

Tierney: Integrated Success Coaching meets each student’s needs by putting students in the driver’s seat and not assuming a “one size fits all” approach. As coaches, we recognize that what works for some students may not work for others, so we aim to develop relationships with each individual student to discover what will help them be successful given their unique context. We actively listen to students, ask them powerful questions and provide tips and tools that are tailored to the specific challenges they’re facing or areas they’d like to grow and improve in.  

UKNow: What is Group Coaching? 

Tierney: Group Coaching is a stress-free, judgment-free way for students to develop the skills they need to be successful in college and beyond, while connecting with peers and certified Integrated Success Coaches in a collaborative environment. 

Group coaching appointments are limited to 30 students per group, but larger groups can request multiple sessions. Group coaching sessions are flexible in terms of their focus, working to meet each student's needs by covering topics such as building effective study skills, time management, overcoming procrastination, stress reduction, increasing motivation, managing test anxiety, building a community on campus and much more. 

Students can expect to participate in a variety of large and small group activities and walk away with concrete strategies to foster success in their collegiate experience. Students will leave feeling more confident about their ability to be successful in college, more connected to their peers and less afraid to ask for help and utilize resources. 

UKNow: What is unique about Group Coaching?  

Tierney: Group Coaching is unique because it isn't simply a presentation about ways students can be more successful. Coaches don’t just talk at students, but rather they actively listen and ask thought-provoking questions that help students gain new perspectives and ideas to help them grow. It harnesses the power of coaching by providing a collaborative, activity-based, experience in which expert coaches guide students through a process that helps them find success in their lives.

Unlike basic presentations, Group Coaching ensures that each student walks away with specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound goals that will help them overcome challenges and achieve more in their lives. It also provides a space for students to share their unique experiences in a non-judgmental setting, normalizing the fact that all of us struggle at times, and that seeking help and utilizing campus resources is a sign of strength rather than weakness.

Finally, Group Coaching is special because it sets the stage for students to collaborate and learn best practices for success from each other. This creates opportunities for students to increase their confidence and belief in themselves, as they see the value of the ideas they bring to the table. 

UKNow: How can students get involved with Group Coaching?

Tierney: Students can get involved with Group Coaching by requesting a session at this link: Qualtrics Survey | Qualtrics Experience Management 

Students can request a Group Coaching session, or multiple sessions, for any club, organization or group they belong to. Faculty and staff may also request Group Coaching for courses they teach or student groups they work with. 

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.