What is Coaching?

Coaching is a model of growth and self-development in which a trained coach supports an individual in a process of reflection, assessment, and targeted skill-building.  

According to the International Coach Federation, coaching is “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.”

In the GRIT peer coaching program, the coaches are trained UCLA students, who may be close in age, education or identity to the students they are working with.  GRIT peer coaches receive over 50-hours of training over the course of 9-weeks to prepare them for their coaching role. In addition, they receive continuing education and supervision for 10-hours per month while they are coaching students.

What happens in a coaching session?

In a coaching session, the peer coach actively listens to the student and any issue, concern, or life update they may have to share.  Through this process, the coach guides the student to identify one or two primary areas of focus for the session based off what they shared. They collaboratively discuss and identify next steps, solutions, skill building or resource opportunities.  Coaches subsequently keep in touch with the student between sessions, to empower them to meet their identified goals.     

Topic areas that may be covered in a session can include:

  • ways to manage stress
  • mindfulness and deep breathing
  • understanding and managing emotions
  • how to communicate effectively
  • improving time management
  • academic study skills
  • goal setting and problem solving
  • how to connect with students on campus
  • referrals to a wide variety of campus resources

Coaching is a very effective model for the development of the whole student. Check out what students reported after receiving coaching for one quarter through the GRIT program!    


"This past quarter, I have had the privilege to experience how valuable a life coaching program can be by participating in the GRIT Coaching Program as a coachee. The program has created a space for me to reflect on my life, identify what needs I am not satisfying, and take steps to meet those needs. I have especially enjoyed the guidance of my peer coach in helping me identify areas of challenge in my life that I have been able to address by setting goals and utilizing the resources available to me at UCLA. From my experience with a peer coach, I can confidently state that a life coaching program can be very valuable to the student community"
-GRIT Coachee