Students talking in library with laptop in front of them

Academic Success Coaching

All Early College Program students are assigned an Academic Success Coach to serve as a mentor, assist with the transition into college, and to help students grow and develop critical skills, such as time management, organization, study habits, and note taking. The Academic Success Coach is also a college student; they’re able to relate to students’ experiences and provide the tools necessary to succeed. Balancing both high school and college classes is highly impressive, but also challenging at times!  Students can collaborate with their Academic Success Coach to identify goals and strategize how to achieve those goals throughout the semester.

Meet The Academic Success Coach!

Picture of Samantha Zakrzewski, the Early College Program Early Academic Coach

Name: Samantha Zakrzewski

Major: BA/MA Psychology

Minor: Social Work

Year: First year graduate student

As a recent graduate of Montclair State University, Samantha can relate to the experiences of students and assist them with their transition from high school into college. In addition to working as the Academic Success Coach, Samantha also works in a research lab on campus that studies spatial abilities in both developing children and adolescents with Down Syndrome. Outside of the office, she enjoys traveling, reading, spending time with family and friends, baking, and playing with her dog!

Build Your Academic Tool Belt

  • Canvas: All Early College Program students will be granted access to a unique Canvas page with modules depicting the various skills needed to succeed. Our department and Academic Success Coach will send important program reminders/updates via Canvas to students. Students are encouraged to check both their Canvas page and email regularly!
  • Appointments: Uniquely designed to fit the student’s needs, students can sign up for either individual or group appointments, depending on the preference of the student.
  • Academic Planning: The Academic Success Coach can create custom academic plans with students to hold themselves accountable and ensure that they achieve their goals.
  • Workshops: Our program offers a variety of small group discussions and workshops to help students:
    • Build the necessary skills for success
    • Develop college readiness
    • Create goals and accountability
    • Reflect on strengths and values
    • Design a schedule to balance the expectations of high school and college
    • Learn how to utilize Montclair State University’s resources
  • Study Sessions: Periodically, the Early College Program will host study groups in which Early College students can do homework in the shared space or study together. All students are asked to state their goals/objectives for the study session to hold themselves accountable. Although we don’t check that students meet their goals, it’s still a great way for students to make sure they’re getting their work done!
  • Resources: Here are a few of the resources on campus to help students succeed:

Frequently Asked Questions

What can the Academic Success Coach help me with? 

The Academic Success Coach helps high school students who are enrolled in college classes learn to read their syllabi, locate classes, and better adjust to the differences between high school and college.

Is an Academic Success Coach a tutor?

No! While tutors help students with course specific topics, the Academic Success Coach helps students strengthen their skills, such as time management, learning styles, organization, and more!

Where can I find my Academic Success Coach?

Your Academic Success Coach is located in the CAST Tutoring Center, which is in the Harry A Sprague Library!  Be sure to email the Academic Success Coach for their scheduled hours.

How do I make an appointment? Are appointments virtual or in person?

Appointments are offered both in person or virtual, depending on the needs of the student!  Instructions for making an appointment can be found here.

What are the “tickets”?

Early College Students will have the opportunity to win prizes at the end of the semester! Meeting with your Academic Success Coach, completing Canvas modules, and attending study sessions are just a few of the ways you can earn tickets.

Please email with any questions!