Academic Coaching Specialists has professional tutors and academic coaches near UC Santa Cruz. We are a professional academic coaching company that provides one-on-one coaching to students who need or want a mentor for their college experience. 


ACS tutors are waiting to assist students with those tough subjects, challenging classes, and difficult course material. Our tutors are professional educators who specialize in their content areas. Passionate about their subject and about helping students, tutors from Academic Coaching Specialists will work one-on-one with UC Santa Cruz students to help clarify course content and ensure understanding of material.  

The student and tutor will meet each week at a reoccurring scheduled time. Students are expected to come prepared with all materials necessary. This may include, but is not limited to: textbook, class notes, slides or PowerPoints, the syllabus for the class, and any prompts or rubrics given by the instructor. 

Before the end of each session, the student will determine what they would like to work on at the next session and plan accordingly. ACS tutoring is not week to week, but rather an ongoing arrangement, meant to provide the student with a stable and reliable resource. Packages can be set for as short as 5 weeks, or as long as a semester.

Academic Coaching: How does it work?

Unlike tutoring, academic coaching goes beyond just one subject area. UC Santa Cruz students will find new confidence as they learn how to master time management, manage stress, and follow through on assignments. We will introduce new learning tools and strategies that create effective habits, leading to increased success in the classroom and beyond. 

An experienced educator will work with the student on a weekly basis. Coaching sessions will be 1 hour each. Additionally, the student will be required to do some outside reading or assignment between each session as assigned by the coach. The student and coach will meet at a mutually agreed upon time to review material, and the student will share their challenges and successes for the week. The coach will identify where and how improvement can be made, as well as confirm if efforts and focus are on point. 

The relationship is meant to be that of a mentorship, where the coach motivates and encourages the student as they move together through the semester. Like tutoring, the arrangement is meant to help the student progress over time. As such, the coaching is most effective when it spans the entire semester. Later starts are accepted, but it is recommended the arrangement continue through to the end of the semester to maximize student success. 

Working one-on-one with a coach will allow the student to:

  • feel supported and confident in their academic efforts
  • learn good time management and study skills
  • find a healthy balance between social and academic life on campus
  • understand how to study and take effective notes for each class type
  • learn the steps and strategies to properly prepare for exams
  • break down large papers or assignments into manageable action items to be completed incrementally
  • overcome stagnation by focusing on goals and success
  • quickly bounce back from setbacks 


Who works with an Academic Coach?

ACS coaches will work with any UC Santa Cruz student, however, here are our most common clients:

College Freshmen

Freshmen starting or continuing their first year are our most served customers. We find that the best approach to academic coaching is a proactive one. Starting from the top, we work with students on what they already know from high school and build on those skills to create an even better college experience. Students who start their freshman year with academic coaching find they are much more prepared and ahead of their peers. They are also less stressed and find they have more free time to enjoy non-academic activities.

Students with Learning Differences

Our academic coaching programs help students of all academic abilities to better utilize their strengths to overcome areas of challenge. We’re experienced in working with students who have: ADHD, ADD, Executive Functioning Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other various processing and learning differences. Accommodations can be provided through the university, but adding a coach to walk by their side and stand in their corner is a gift that will give your UCSC student confidence like never before!

Students on Academic Probation

Students who find themselves on academic probation at UCSC can take part in our Academic 911 program. This academic coaching program is designed to address the immediate issues in order to get the student back in good standing. Further, it teaches how to avoid potential issues in the future and strives to break any bad habits of the past. Coaches will identify any individual problems and make any necessary referrals for tutoring if appropriate.

Student Athletes

They are already a tough competitor- let our coaches help your Slug become a driven and fierce student in the classroom! 

It takes a very organized and driven person to be a successful student athlete in college. While the athletic coaches will help to find success on the field or court, victory in the classroom starts with an academic coach from Academic Coaching Specialists. Our coaches understand what it takes to remain eligible to play and can help the student balance their commitments to their team, their sport, and their education. 

 This is why our personalized coaching is perfect for all students, even the highest of achievers who are consistently looking for ways to hone their skills and sharpen their competitive edge. We can provide balance and support, along with fresh perspectives and ways to work smarter, not harder!

Students Taking Remote Courses

Online or remote courses? Academic Coaching Specialists can help students remain focused and engaged in these types of classes. In our experience working with students throughout the pandemic, we have found that the material in online classes is not typically the problem. Rather, the ability to see things laid out and in order, along with some incremental motivation is usually all that is needed to see a drastic improvement.  Our coaches will stay involved each week, making sure they are not overwhelmed or procrastinating on getting things completed. 



Top athletes have trainers and coaches to help them reach their potential. Putting an academic coach in your corner today can ensure you will have the support needed to get through even the toughest semester.

  • Our coaches are experienced educators, not peers
  • We earn trust by demonstrating our methods work in real life
  • Coaches don’t just respond to a student’s needs, they anticipate them


Our coaches are dedicated to providing an exceptional experience that is custom-tailored to the individual needs of your student.

Why Choose Academic Coaching Specialists?

Whether it is an athlete training for the next competition, a musician or dancer practicing for the next performance, working with a coach is the best way to stay focused. ACS coaches will help with achieving academic goals, maintaining focus, providing inspiration, and supporting the student enthusiastically throughout their journey.

What Makes Us Different

Your Banana Slug can have a “personal trainer” for their academic experience! 

Students often feel like they just need more one-on-one time with that instructor to ask questions in real time and not have to wait or feel nervous to ask in or after class. We liken this to working out at the gym and wanting to try a new machine, but not knowing exactly how. You might feel nervous or embarrassed to ask someone. Chances are, if you don’t see someone right there, right then, you either give up and walk away or you try, but use it incorrectly, possibly hurting yourself. 

With an academic coach by their side, our students will always have a knowledgeable and experienced educator at the ready to help them by demonstrating techniques and tools, and helping them directly apply them to what they are working on in their classes all semester.

  • Our coaches and tutors are experienced educators, not peers
  • We earn trust by demonstrating our methods work in real life each and every week
  • We don’t just respond to a student’s needs, we anticipate them


What Our Students Say



” The program has geared me up for success not only in the classroom but also in life. Having a dedicated plan day in and day out has helped me achieve so much. With the help and guidance from ACS, I was able to graduate college (which I never thought could happen) and have helped me land my dream job right out of college! Thank you ACS!! “


Joe D.

” I was able to improve my test scores, improve my overall grades and even make dean’s list. I also gained a new mentor, coach, and friend. I am using the skills I learned through ACS daily in my career such as planning, focusing, and prioritizing my tasks each day. “


Carolina B.

” I struggle with time management and I have learned that I need accountability to finish and reach my goals. Having someone who cares about my success, offering tools and strategies to get there, has been crucial for my professional and personal development. I am so grateful for this support from ACS in this journey. “