All currently enrolled students in any of Columbia’s degree programs, including exchange and cross-registered students, are welcome to use CAL’s resources.
Coaching is an opportunity for you to work one-on-one with one of our coaches on any project at any stage in your process. During a consultation, the coach will help you identify both your strengths and your areas for growth as well as next steps for further developing your academic skills and work. We will collaborate with you to clarify your thought, explore new tools and strategies, and lay the groundwork for future work!
CAL coaching can address a wide variety of academic skills, which means that nearly any academic assignment may be brought to CAL for a consultation! Difficult readings, classroom presentations, research plans, reflection papers, resumes, scholarship applications, and more are all appropriate topics for consultations. We can also discuss skills such as time management organization, grammar, study skills, and audience engagement, whether or not they are attached to a particular assignment. (NOTE: Our coaches focus on helping you develop academic skills; we do not provide content tutoring.)
Each session is different, but most videochat appointments begin with your goals for the session and a review of the assignment expectations, due date, and any concerns you may have. If the session topic is a writing project, the coach might ask you to read your essay aloud. Discussion usually begins with larger concerns (understanding the assignment, thesis development, organization, etc.) and ends with areas of further growth, be they grammar, public speaking tips, or ways to succeed in online education. We encourage you to take charge of how the session will proceed and what issues you would like us to address.
You can always find our most up-to-date coaching hours listed on our Center for Academic Literacy main page.
Appointments can be canceled using WC Online up until the start of the appointment time with no penalty. Alternatively, you may contact the CAL staff directly by email to notify them of your cancellation.
CAL offers three kinds of appointments, in-person, online video chat, and document review. If you want to speak with a coach in real time, choose the In-Person or the Online Videochat options. If you want the coach to review your work and send you written coaching notes (asynchronously), choose the Document Review option. Document review might work best for students who live in a different time zone and may find it difficult to meet with a coach over video chat because of the time difference.
You are free to change the type of appointment up until the start of the appointment. Visit our “Connect with a Coach” page to learn more about our different online coaching modes and how to set them in WC Online.
CAL cannot guarantee that your coach will have the opportunity to read material that you send ahead of time. While we will do our best to pre-read drafts if possible, please know that the coach will not always be able to do this, especially for longer papers. Thanks for understanding!
WC Online allows you to easily attach materials to the appointment form. We encourage you to provide the following helpful materials for a consultation:
Add yourself to the waiting list! In WC Online, click “Waiting List: ” below your preferred date and complete the form to submit your request. You will be notified if there is an opening that matches your preferences. If you are repeatedly unable to book an appointment, please email the CAL staff (firstname.lastname@example.org). By using our waiting list and/or emailing the CAL staff, you help us discern how to make CAL coaching more available to students!
If you have an account in WC Online but the platform will not allow you to log in, it is probably for one of two reasons:
In either case, simply reach out to CAL staff (email@example.com) to resolve the issue. (Note: Accounts frozen due to no-show activity must remain frozen for one full week and are only reactivated by request.)