A personalized approach to coaching, designed to empower change

At InsideTrack, coaching is both an art and a science. Our evidence-based, research-confirmed methodology focuses on the goals, values and well-being of each learner. This methodology is adapted from the best practices of some of the nation’s leading thinkers on learning engagement. And we continue to refine our approach based on new research — while our highly trained and certified coaches always bring heart and soul to their connections with learners.

two women smiling on campus

Providing personalized support at scale

By using multichannel communication via a single platform, we tailor our coaching solutions to meet individuals where they are — using emails, video meetings, phone calls and texts. This ensures that outreach is cost-effective and scalable. Regardless of the method, these coaching interactions always come with a personal, human connection and a learner-centered focus.

Over the past five years, we’ve recorded:
  • 21.0M emails

  • 1.4M phone calls

  • 5.3M text messages


Building quality assurance into everything we do

InsideTrack coaching programs include a formal quality assurance and development process that is individually tailored to make sure our coaches continue to grow and thrive. During their first year, each coach receives 100+ hours of professional development, with 30+ hours each subsequent year. A member of our specially trained team observes a coach/learner interaction from each InsideTrack coach every three months — ensuring that each coach is formally observed at least four times a year.

  • We have certified 2,500+ coaches over the last 5 years

  • Our specially trained staff have observed 5,000+ InsideTrack coach/learner interactions over the last 5 years

  • Last year alone, we delivered 4,700+ training hours to partners and InsideTrack coaches

quality assurance

Advancing equity and inclusion to serve the needs of all learners

Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is woven into all the work we do. For us, this will always be a process of ongoing learning and growth, with the goal of creating concrete, actionable DEI policies and practices guided by our mission and rooted in our values.

These four competencies fuel our equitable approach to coaching:
  • Individualization: Understanding each learner’s specific situation and systemic barriers they may be facing in order to tailor our approach

  • Self and Situational Awareness: Recognizing differences between coaches and learners to allow for a truly supportive relationship

  • Adaptability: Honing listening and communication skills to take different approaches with different types of learners

  • Cultural Competence and Humility: Committing to learning about cultures, backgrounds and perspectives that are different from our own, while avoiding assumptions and acknowledging that each individual’s journey is unique


Coaching that’s evidence-based and research-confirmed

The concept of using coaching to help students overcome obstacles, clarify goals and stay motivated to graduate not only makes sense — it really works. Partner after partner can share statistics showing the positive, measurable impact on their learners and their organizations. To put our methodology to the test, we have been part of dozens of research studies over the past 20+ years.

ies what works clearing house

Coaching that meets the high-evidence standards of the DOE

InsideTrack’s coaching methodology has been recognized as high impact and high evidence by the U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse of Evidence Based Practices — one of the only postsecondary coaching programs to meet these standards.

Research confirms the lasting impact of InsideTrack coaching

The positive impact of InsideTrack coaching has been confirmed through over 100 randomized control trials (RCTs). The most widely known is the landmark study published by Stanford researchers Dr. Rachel Baker and Dr. Eric Bettinger in 2013. This study evaluated the effectiveness of InsideTrack’s coaching as a student success intervention.

The randomized controlled trials measured the performance of 13,555 students across eight different two-year, four-year, public and private colleges and universities. The study showed significant increases in student persistence and graduation of coached students. What’s more, the increases in graduation and retention rates of coached students continued even after the coaching period ended.

coaching impact persists through graduation

Coaching methodology that fuels impact

Coaching supports the development of specific knowledge, skills and beliefs necessary for success in school, career and beyond. Emphasizing noncognitive competencies — such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, adaptability, time management, conflict resolution and perseverance — promotes transformational, long-term learning.

The five elements of coaching

Click cards to view details.

building relationships

Building Relationships

Building Relationships

Trust and credibility are the cornerstones of a successful coaching interaction




A thorough, holistic evaluation of the individual — inside and outside of school




Instruction and development to advance the individual to an actionable next step

building motivation

Building Motivation

Building Motivation

Connecting the individual to their “why” to sustain momentum toward their goals




Effective, unique outreach and communication tailored to each individual

Our research philosophy

At InsideTrack, our research helps us to better understand and further our impact. We use research to evaluate the effectiveness of coaching for diverse populations, to gather information for evidence-based decision making, and to identify trends that provide insights on current learner needs. Our research philosophy is to improve coaching by employing empirical and culturally responsive research practices that advance and enhance our programming and services in order to further equity and social mobility for all learners.

Our work focuses specifically on exploring direct, widespread and systemic outcomes and impacts for learners who have been coached by an InsideTrack coach or are being coached via one of our coaching development and training programs. Through our research approach, we utilize direct data and observations while recognizing the needs of diverse populations — with the ultimate goal of promoting the creation of equitable pathways.

How does coaching fit with other student support roles?

Weaving our holistic coaching methodology into other support models — like counseling and advising — can equip support staff with the tools to foster a learner-centered approach that leads to greater retention, persistence and completion. And trained coaches not only advance their learners, but also help them get the most out of the other support roles available to them.

Our downloadable guide compares and contrasts common student success roles to the role of success coaching, providing real-world examples of how they can join together for greater impact.

Related Resources

Coaching solutions customized to your needs

We understand the challenges your organization — and your learners — are facing. That’s why we offer a comprehensive range of coaching solutions, all designed to help learners achieve their goals and partners achieve their desired outcomes. Select the approach that best suits your needs.