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Schedule an Appointment

Click below to schedule an appointment with a Subject-Based Tutor, Adult Learner Coach, Peer Academic Coach, Technology Coach, or Writing Assistant!

Peer Academic Coaching

In addition to Subject-Based Tutoring at the Learning Commons, students can increase their academic skills and learn new strategies by meeting with a Peer Academic Coach or Adult Learner Coach. Peer Academic Coaches are USM students who have learned a variety of academic approaches to maximizing academic “time-on-task” both inside and outside of the classroom. Adult Learner Coaches are adult learners themselves, offering a holistic approach to supporting adult students academically while also exploring how to effectively balance being a student with the life demands of an adult learner. 

Appointments are individualized and focused on a student’s unique experiences, strengths, challenges, and goals. Even the most successful student can experience significant gains by making a few small changes.

Appointment topics include how to effectively and efficiently:

  • Review course syllabi
  • Organize course materials
  • Plan for upcoming academic tasks
  • Manage time
  • Read textbooks
  • Take notes
  • Prepare for and take exams

USM students can enjoy the benefits of two coaching appointments per week. Appointments can be in person or accessed live online via Zoom. Students can choose to meet with an academic coach once or on a consistent basis for additional support. 

Peer Academic Coaching FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding our peer coaching services. If you don’t see the answer to your question, please email Cristina Kerluke, Associate Director of Learning Support Programs, at

Any USM student, undergraduate or graduate, who is enrolled in at least one course is eligible for this free service!

All USM students are encouraged to explore how they are approaching their academic lives by seeking consultation for establishing successful learning habits. Peer Academic Coaches offer guidance on how to best incorporate strategies for effective and efficient learning. Appointments are individualized and focused on a student’s unique experiences, strengths, challenges, and goals.

Adult Learner Coaching offers a holistic approach to supporting our adult student population at USM. Adult Learner Coaches are adult learners themselves and have received additional training beyond the Peer Academic Coach role to specifically address the needs of an adult learner. This includes how to effectively balance being a student with the life demands of an adult learner, in addition to establishing effective academic habits, using the technologies frequently utilized at USM, and starting the research process. Through individual appointments and the facilitation of workshops, these experiences and resources will provide adult learners several opportunities to build the confidence and competence for continuing along their degree pathway.

USM students can use our convenient self-service online calendar to easily view available appointments and schedule a time with a Peer Academic Coach or Adult Learner Coach. (Please be sure to select Peer Academic Coaching or Adult Learner Coaching in the “Choose Your Subject” drop-down menu.) For step-by-step guidance, please review our How to Schedule a Subject-Based Tutoring Appointment resource.

Students may also call The Learning Commons at (207)780-4228 or email for assistance with scheduling. 

The location of an appointment will depend on the selection the student made when scheduling their session. Portland-based appointments will be held on the second floor of Glickman Library, and Gorham-based appointments will be held on the first floor of the Gorham Library, 120 Bailey Hall. Students can also elect to have an appointment held live, online via Zoom (from any location!). To join scheduled online appointments, log back into the scheduling calendar, open the appointment window, and click on the link labeled “JOIN MY APPOINTMENT to start an online session.

NOTE: Both the scheduling calendar (WCOnline) and Zoom are mobile-device optimized so that a student can participate in the appointment via a smartphone if needed.

Peer Academic Coaching is designed to help make a student’s learning efforts more productive and successful. Preparation for an appointment is not necessary; however, it can be helpful. To make the most of a session with a Peer Academic Coach, students are encouraged to consider some of the questions below:

  • What would you like to work on with a Peer Academic Coach?
  • What questions and concerns regarding your approach to academic preparation would you like to address?
  • Are there specific areas you hope to improve upon?
  • What changes would you like to see as a result of working with a Peer Academic Coach?

  • Peer Academic Coaching is designed to give students space for a conversation that will address their questions and concerns, while providing actionable strategies that can be incorporated into their academic routine. Since the appointment is focused on the individual’s needs and goals, the coaching appointment will be driven by the student! The academic coach will listen, ask questions, and provide guidance on tools and strategies for effective learning.

USM students, faculty, and staff seeking additional information regarding academic coaching may visit our internal MyUSM page.