Academic Coaching, Student Engagement, and Instructor Best Practices
Academic coaching has demonstrated positive relationships with college students' academic engagement and performance. A university campus in Puerto Rico implemented academic coaching for at-risk students, but the program has not been studied for its impact on student engagement. Guided by self-regulation theory and constructivism, this quasi-experimental study examined differences in engagement and identification of best teaching behaviors between students who experienced academic coaching (n = 115) and those who did not (n = 55). Students completed the Classroom Survey of Student Engagement (CLASSE) before and after the 4-week instructional unit and the Instructor Behavior Checklist (IBC) after the instructional unit. The data from the CLASSE and IBC were analyzed using mixed analysis of variance for engagement activities and student identification of effective teaching practices. There were no significant findings relating academic coaching to engagement; however, the experimental group identified significantly more best teaching practices used by their instructor. A Pearson correlation also yielded a significant positive relationship between students' engagement and the identification of instructor best practices. Based on these findings, a professional development program was created for instructors, which fosters student engagement and learning by encouraging instructor best practices through a classroom coaching model. The findings from this study may promote positive social change by helping to prepare faculty to integrate academic coaching and best teaching practices related to student engagement.