Academic Coaching

Our coaching program at DRS is designed to help support student success.

Through individually tailored sessions, we find solutions to academic challenges. Read more about our program for students, and check out our resources for classroom and curriculum design.

About the DRS Academic Coaching program

How can Coaching assist students academically?

Primarily through one-on-one meetings with Coaches, assistive technology, and study spaces.  Many students develop their time management and organizational skills, note-taking, and study skills through their work with an a Academic Coach.  Structure and accountability help keep a number of students on track. The coaching program assists students in discovering and mastering their strengths to their academic advantage.

Can I refer a student for Coaching specifically?

Yes; students in the DRS Academic Coaching program must first be registered and connected with our office. Students can learn about getting started with DRS by reviewing our Getting Started webpage or contacting us directly.

How can a professor refer a student to the DRS office for learning support?

You can review the best ways to make a direct referral here:
Supporting students with disabilities at the UW

DRS contact information is (206) 543-8924,, or
We are open Monday – Friday, 8:30AM-5:00PM with daily drop-in hours.

Does the DRS office do outreach?

Yes.  Personnel from DRS can visit classes to present on topics such as note-taking, study skills, time-management, goal setting, and organization. Contact us for more information.

What if a student has a learning difference associated with a disability?

If a student has a documented disability and needs in-class accommodations, they must currently be registered with the DRS office.  The most common disability accommodations professors work with are extra time on exams, and access to classroom materials and participation. Upon receiving an accommodation letter from DRS, professors must discuss in a confidential manner the needs of each student and how accommodations will be provided.

For access to course materials, including assistance with note taking, it is ideal that professors post their presentations for the class; this not only assists students with disabilities, but makes learning more accessible to all students.

How can a professor best motivate not only those students who learn differently, but all students?

By creating a dynamic, interactive, warm, open, caring, flexible and supportive classroom.  Presenting material from a student’s learning perspective and not necessarily the professor’s preferred teaching style can assist greatly.  Straight lecture can work part of the time but a multi-modal approach works most of the time by bringing material alive.  Accepting regular feedback from the class provides professors with insight into teaching effectiveness.  

All students at UW are capable.  They simply need to gain motivation and insight into their learning by professors who provide options for acquiring knowledge and displaying knowledge.

What are the best ways to assess student learning and provide a more supportive and flexible classroom?

It depends on the student because we all have our best ways for acquiring and retaining information.  Therefore, ideally, there should be options that allow students to really show what they know whether that be through papers, oral exams, field-trips, presentations, essay exams, multiple-choice, projects, group-work, community involvement, interviews, film-making, and so forth. 

Some of the brightest students may be unable to display their knowledge if there is only one way of evaluation.  Professor’s notes should be posted, videos captioned, review sessions offered with emphasis on checking for understanding and student engagement.

To learn more about referring students for DRS services:

Refer a student

For more about creating inclusive classrooms and course materials:

Go to Faculty Resources

See the approach DRS takes to encourage student success:

Go to Coaching Resources for Students

Additional Academic and Campus Programs

CLUE (The Center for Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment)

DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology)

Center for Disability Policy and Research

Center on Human Development and Disability

Center for Technology and Disability Studies

Disability Studies at the University of Washington

Instructional Center