College Coach Onboarding
Complete the steps below to begin helping students!
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For new coaches: Congratulations on completing our introductory modules! We appreciate your time and effort.
For returning coaches: Thank you for continuing with us as a volunteer! We’re so grateful for all that you do.
Whether it’s your first or fourth year with ScholarMatch, the objective of this module is to ensure that you understand our expectations, resources, support systems, and your role as a College Coach within the current program design.
- Data Tracking Responsibilities: In order to understand trends in student behavior and outcomes, ScholarMatch tracks key data points throughout the admissions process. Collecting this information is imperative for us to better understand the needs of our students and how we can improve our program to best serve them. Furthermore, we must collect and report this information to partners and funders to sustain support for this program.We cannot stress enough how critically important your role is with this data collection, and we’re grateful for your help with it. As a College Coach, you will have a much more personal relationship with students than our staff, and will be your students’ primary connection to ScholarMatch. For this reason, we rely on our coaches to help us gather information on pivotal college application milestones for students, such as when financial aid forms are submitted, how many colleges a student applied to, and which scholarships they received. For an overview of our data tracking expectations, please review this document.
- Multiple Missing Coach Report Policy: For transparency, we want to share that coach reports are both a mandatory part of our program and a tool that we use to evaluate coaches at the end of the program year. After missing three coach reports in one program year, we begin the rematching process for students to ensure they’re receiving the support they need. Submitting a coach report every month ensures that you are invited to continue as a volunteer next year. For an FAQ regarding this policy, please review this document.
- Building Rapport With Your Student: We suggest using this guide to foster productive conversations with your student, gain further insight into their college process, and understand the best ways to offer support and guidance.
- Unresponsive Students: Now that you’ve reviewed the overview on student engagement and our expectations of your work, please review our perspective on unresponsive students. We want to prepare you for the possibility that a student you’re matched with may not engage as much as you’d hope or at all, and make sure that you can maintain a student-centered perspective if such a situation arises. Review our guide here.
- Youth Protection Policy: Additionally, our students’ safety is our priority. Please review our Youth Protection Policy.
Our goal is to ensure you have all the tools necessary to support your student throughout the college application process. Below is a list of resources we provide our coaches, in addition to a quick introductory video about where and how to access them.
- Watch this Video!
- Coach Resource Page: Your one stop shop for all tools, links, announcements, and resources.
- College Toolkit: An interactive base with resources where you can filter by topic (i.e. scholarships, financial aid, etc). This is linked on the Coach Resource Page, and you can also submit materials for consideration.
- Ongoing Support: You’ll have access to a Student Support Playbook (an advising guidebook you receive when matched with students), monthly newsletters with relevant announcements and reminders, and webinars throughout the year on specific topics. (PS – all of these are also housed in the College Toolkit.)
Community: Where to Ask Questions?
- Community Platforms: Our optional but encouraged Coach Facebook Group, the ScholarMatch Forum email listserv (details here; active coaches are added automatically on July 1 of each program year), and Varsity Coach Gallery of expert volunteers who have offered to serve as points of contact for questions from other coaches are all great avenues to ask questions!
- Advising Email: Have questions about the program? Need to follow up after a challenging student meeting beyond your notes in a Coach Report or Coaching Log? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re happy to help!
- Scholarship Eligibility: Learn how students from LA, the San Francisco Bay Area, Texas, and Massachusetts can become eligible to apply for our Scholars Program, which provides students with a college scholarship and support to graduation and career.
How to complete this module:
Thanks for your attention to this program introduction! The mastery assignment linked below consists of just one free-response question and a chance for you to raise anything you’re still wondering about.