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Peer Academic Coach Positions

Position Overview

The Peer Academic Coaching Program is a free resource for students of any level or discipline who want to improve their academic success skills. Peer academic coaches (PACs) meet with students individually or in small groups to share strategies and build skills related to topics such as time management, study skills, overcoming procrastination, and more. PACs also represent the Student Success Center through classroom presentations or at campus events.

This grant-sponsored partnership between the Student Success Center and the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid is designed to develop student leaders on campus.

Job Responsibilities

  • Meet with students to coach them on skills and strategies to improve their academic success at Virginia Tech.
    • Emphasize skill transfer, thinking and learning strategies, and adaptable problem-solving.
    • Engage students with active learning strategies so that they participate rather than just listen.
    • Adapt your coaching methods and explanations to the current, unique needs of each student.
  • Lead seminars for groups of students on topics related to academic success.
  • Represent and promote the Student Success Center at university events as needed.
  • Write and submit appointment summaries through Navigate within 24 hours of each appointment.
  • Complete all required training, both online and in person.
  • Attend required biweekly staff meetings for continued professional development.

Employment Conditions

Eligibility requirements

  • Have authorization to work in the United States.
  • Have a current FAFSA on file that meets financial eligibility requirements (i.e., at least $2,000 of unmet need) during all semesters when employed as a PAC.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better.
  • Maintain a history of good conduct standing and academic integrity.

Availability requirements

  • Commit to being a peer academic coach for at least one academic year (fall and spring).
  • Dedicate time for coaching (4 hours per week), seminars (4 hours per semester), meetings (1 hour every other week), and training (asynchronous). Could include some evenings and weekends.


Peer academic coaches receive a grant of $2,000 per year. The grant money is applied directly toward your tuition (i.e., it will appear in your awards on Hokie Spa, not in your bank account), and it does not have to be paid back.

PACs may also receive additional hourly pay (currently $12.00 per hour) for taking on extra responsibilities beyond the normal position requirements. These responsibilites could include extra coaching hours, seminars, campus events, or other special projects.

PACs can also request academic credit for this work through their department. Let the PAC program coordinator know about your departmental requirements, and we will design a plan to meet them.

Application Process

  • February: Interested students can complete the online applications (first Scholarship Central and then Handshake).
  • February to March: The Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid will screen all applicants for financial eligibility.
  • March: SSC will review eligible applications.
  • Late March to mid April: Selected financially eligible applicants will be invited for interviews with the Student Success Center.
  • Mid April to mid May: Conditional acceptances will be sent out to selected applicants. Additional applicants may be invited for interviews.
  • Late May to early June: After classes end, the SSC will screen all finalists for GPA eligibility, check student conduct and academic integrity records, and send out final decisions to all applicants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of becoming a PAC?

Academic coaching offers an opportunity for you to grow as a student and person. You can challenge yourself to develop new skills and qualities that will serve you well both in college and beyond. Coaching strengthens interpersonal, communication, and problem-solving skills. It solidifies your understanding of coaching concepts. It can also help clarify your career goals by revealing new interests or skills.

What qualities are you looking for in a PAC?

  • Academically, excellent PACs have strong academic skills and habits that they can model for their students.
  • They can clearly explain information in multiple ways, and their communication skills are enhanced by their ease with establishing rapport.
  • Personally, the strongest PACs are empathetic, patient, compassionate, and genuinely want to help others.
  • Finally, the best PACs believe that anyone can improve regardless of where they start, and they¬† bring that optimism into all of their coaching interactions.