General ACE Coaching Questions

What is academic coaching?

Academic Coaching provides students with academic support in areas that include but are not limited to: goal setting, organization, study structure, study techniques, time management, test-taking strategies, and identifying obstacles. Academic and Career Exploration (ACE) Coaches work with students individually to assess their strengths and needs, identify additional academic and personal resources, and develop an individualized plan of action for academic success. More information about our academic coaching philosophy can be found on our About ACE page.

What's the difference between coaching and tutoring?

Tutoring helps students understand subject-specific content, whereas academic coaching uses a comprehensive approach in identifying gaps in learning, structure, and techniques to increase overall academic success. Students can take advantage of both services.

What's the difference between coaching and counseling?

Academic coaching focuses on practical application of student success skills. The University Counseling Center can provide ongoing in-depth help for mental health obstacles (ie: anxiety, depression, relationship concerns, grief and loss, etc.). ACE Coaches may refer students to the Counseling Center when necessary.

Who are ACE Coaches?

All Academic and Career Exploration (ACE) Coaches are masters-level professionals with backgrounds in advising and are trained in techniques and strategies to utilize in each session. Learn more about the ACE Coaches by viewing their profile on our About ACE page.

Will my ACE Coach be my new advisor?

Typically, the answer is no. Academic Department Advisors help students develop a plan for completing the required courses for their major and leading them towards earning their degree. However, ACE Coaches, do help with advising for freshmen who no longer have an SE 101 advisor. For sophomores, juniors, and seniors, ACE coaches do not engage in formal course advising. Many students will access both advising and coaching support to reach their academic goals.

Can my ACE Coach remove my registration hold?

No. ACE Coaches are not department academic advisors, so they cannot advise you or remove your advising hold. The only exception to this is freshmen who no longer have an SE 101 advisor. ACE coaches will advise that population only and remove their registration holds.

How often can I meet with my ACE Coach?

It’s up to you!!! Although we would like to see a student more than one time, the number of meetings is determined by the student and the Coach. Some students may need only one session to align their skills with their goals. Others may benefit from having academic checkpoints set up during the semester, to make sure they are on track with their goals.

Will my ACE Coach discuss anything we talk about with my parents?

The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was enacted in 1974 to ensure the rights and privacy of students while pursuing a college education. For that reason, neither faculty nor staff can provide any information about your progress in school without prior authorization. View our FERPA Policy for more information about FERPA.

Do I need an appointment to meet with an ACE Coach?

Yes, all students will need to make an appointment. There is a short intake form to complete and you will be contacted by the correct staff member to set up an appointment. You will meet with an ACE Coach in the Center for Student Excellence, located in the Student Union Annex. Complete our intake form to begin setting up your first appointment.

How long are academic and career exploration appointments?

Appointment times can vary depending on what needs to be accomplished. Since we also need to be available for other students, our staff will limit appointment times to 50 minutes per session.

How should I prepare for the first meeting?

Think about your concerns, questions, expectations, and goals and come with an open mind. Coaches will ask questions to elicit more insight into the issue, pin-pointing specific problem(s), and assist you in developing plans and skills to carry out agreed-upon solutions.

Do I have to be failing to receive academic coaching?

No. Academic Coaching is open to all Southeastern students (except those currently served by an SE 101 advisor) regardless of GPA. Receiving and implementing coaching support prior to receiving poor grades may help circumvent failing status altogether. Further, some students with good GPAs may opt into academic coaching with the aim of achieving even higher academic excellence.

Will my GPA improve if I meet with an ACE Coach?

As with any support service, improvement becomes evident when students carry out the plans discussed during the coaching sessions. Simply attending sessions and talking about helpful changes won’t achieve them.

Is academic coaching available in the summer?

Yes, academic and career exploration is available year-round, by appointment, during regular university hours of operation.

Can graduate students receive academic and career exploration coaching?

Currently, graduate students who would like academic coaching are encouraged to meet with their department’s graduate coordinator. For career exploration, please visit the Office of Career Services.


Major and Career Exploration Questions

When do I have to decide on my major?

It depends very much on the courses you take and the curriculum requirements of the major you end up choosing. Delaying the decision may give you more time to decide, but it may also mean that more time will be needed to complete the courses required for graduation. 

Once a student is no longer served by their Freshman Advisor, they won’t have an assigned advisor if the student does not have a declared major. This means they won’t be able to have their advising hold removed to register for classes. Academic Coaches can assist these students in major exploration and narrowing interest areas so that a major can be declared (even if that major is only one of many parallel plans for the student).

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to major in - any suggestions?

It's important to keep in mind that there isn't just one pathway to a specific career. One good resource to help you make your decision is an Academic and Career Exploration (ACE) Coach. They have a variety of tools to assist you when exploring majors. 

Other ways to explore include talking to people who do what you are interested in - How did they get to where they are? Also, think about the classes that are most interesting to you. Could you take this type of coursework to another level? You can volunteer or do an internship. Another avenue of exploration is to look at the various majors and their required classes. 

You are always welcome to set up an appointment through our Schedule an Appointment Form.

Do I just need to pass my classes and keep a GPA of 2.0 in order to progress in my major and graduate?

Not likely. Although these are some of the minimum requirements for graduation, all majors require Cs or higher for their “major courses” or a specified “major grade point average” for select classes. Some majors have an additional application or status process for progression in the major (ex: Nursing, Social Work, Education) or other required criteria for their beginning level courses.

All of these requirements are listed and available to students in the catalog so that students can plan accordingly with their Advisors. However, ACE Coaches can provide some preliminary orientation and discussion. 

What if I am not accepted into the program of my choice? Do I have to change my major?

When a student is denied entry into the program of their choice, they will first need to know and discuss with their Advisor the nature of the denial and what option (if any) the student may have to make changes/improvements and re-apply. 

If the option to re-apply for an improved chance of entry isn’t feasible, the student is then faced with the decision to change their major at Southeastern or, if they want to keep their original plan, explore other schools with the same program that may have different admission requirements.  Southeastern cannot speak on behalf of other schools’ requirements, so it would be the student’s responsibility to contact them and determine their plans to transfer.

For students opting to stay at Southeastern and change their major, ACE Coaches can provide assistance with finding related majors that share many qualities of the previous major or aid students in widening their focus to explore majors not originally considered.

Is there a test I can take that tells me what career I should seek?

The Center for Student Excellence offers helpful self-assessment resources and activities. However, it is important to remember that career exploration assessments are tools to stimulate learning.  They are not definitive person-to-occupation match generators. Your ACE coach will assist you in understanding and applying the results of your assessment. 

How do I get started looking for a job or internship?

The process of looking for an internship or job depends on your field of interest, your level of experience, and your specific goals. Some majors have built-in internship opportunities that allow students to gain experience and class credit as part of their degree requirements.  Review your curriculum with your Advisor to look into these options. Also, our Office of Career Services offers a variety of career and internship fairs throughout the year in addition to thousands of postings in Handshake.  

Where do I go for help with resumes, cover letters, or help with interviewing?

Please visit our Office of Career Services. They have dedicated and trained career counselors and staff to assist you with job-specific skills and preparation.

What should I major in if I want to be a dental hygienist?


Southeastern does not offer a degree in dental hygiene. However, the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies recently launched a new degree in Health Sciences for students interested in health care related programs. The BS in Health Sciences includes coursework in Medical Terminology, Health Research, Health Coaching/Counseling, Epidemiology, and the Health Care System. This flexible curriculum includes 22 hours of Health Science electives that allows students to meet all (or most) of the prerequisites for Dental Hygiene as well as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, and Athletic Training programs.

Students are responsible for researching the requirements of other schools/programs to ensure they are adequately preparing themselves while at Southeastern. Please schedule an appointment with an ACE Coach to further discuss your plans and possible options to reaching your career goals as a Southeastern student.

What should I major in if I want to be a doctor/dentist?

You can major in virtually any subject and still have the potential to be admitted to medical school. Many aspiring doctors will prepare themselves for medical school by earning undergraduate degrees in biology, chemistry, kinesiology (exercise science), or psychology. You are also responsible for researching the requirements of medical schools and programs and MCAT/DAT preparatory guides to ensure you are adequately preparing yourself while here at Southeastern. 

What is the difference between an Engineering degree and an Engineering Technology degree?

Southeastern currently offers students the opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology. This program combines the application of scientific and engineering knowledge with engineering methods and technical skills to prepare the graduates for a variety of industrial and government workforce needs. 

An Engineering Technology program differs from a classic Engineering program in that it is more applied and focused on applications of technology, emphasizing hands-on application and implementation. It is about 50 percent theory and 50 percent focused on the practical application of engineering principles (ensuring the quality of implementation). 

An Engineering program is focused more on theoretical fundamentals and advanced concepts that can lead to the development of new technology and has higher-level math and theoretical science in the curricula. It's more focused on innovation and design and less hands-on application. 

What should I major in if I want to be an FBI agent?

What major you choose depends on what role you would like to fill in the agency. Some study criminal justice and gain experience working as police officers. Others approach the career from a business background, with a degree in accounting, finance, or business administration. Still other candidates begin studying political science or world languages. Science degrees in subjects like chemistry, physics, and biology are also options. Keep in mind that this career path is very competitive and there are many other factors that could affect your chances of becoming an FBI agent. Make an appointment with an ACE Coach to discuss your possibilities.

What should I major in if I want to help people with talk therapy?

Deciding what major you want to choose will depend on what careers are an option you want to consider. There are four main careers that you can choose: counselor/therapist, psychologist (not a medical doctor), psychiatrist (medical doctor), or social worker. Students wanting to learn more about these careers and what majors they can choose now should make an appointment with an ACE Coach.

What should I major in if I want to be a lawyer?

While the American Bar Association (ABA) does not recommend any specific undergraduate major for law school hopefuls, it does encourage students to work on critical thinking, public speaking, and reading comprehension regardless of which major they choose. A few subjects considered "traditional preparation" for law school include criminal justice, communication, history, English, political science, biology, accounting, and/or management.

Students are responsible for researching the requirements of their next step at the other schools/programs to ensure they are adequately preparing themselves while at Southeastern. 

What should I major in if I want to be a physical or occupational therapist?

It can be helpful to review the requirements of graduate programs in physical and occupational therapy as you prepare to select your undergraduate major. Although Southeastern does not have graduate programs in physical or occupational therapy, many students will prepare themselves by majoring in kinesiology, health sciences, or biology. 

Students are responsible for researching the requirements of their next step at the other schools/programs to ensure they are adequately preparing themselves while at Southeastern. 

What is the difference between a physical therapist and an occupational therapist?

While both provide hands-on rehabilitative work to help clients perform everyday tasks as independently as possible, they both take a different approach in helping people return to their normal routine. Occupational therapy focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, and getting dressed. Physical Therapy focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform movement of the human body, such as walking or lifting objects.

What should I major in to become a radiologic technologist or an ultrasound technician?

Southeastern doesn’t offer degrees in these areas. Instead, students should look for a program that specializes in them. These programs are often found at community colleges, vocational schools, or hospitals. Students are responsible for researching the requirements of their next step at the other schools/programs to ensure they are adequately preparing themselves while at Southeastern.  

What should I major in if I want to be a veterinarian?

Many aspiring veterinarians will prepare themselves for vet school by earning undergraduate degrees in biology and/or chemistry. Students are responsible for researching the requirements of veterinary schools and programs to ensure they are adequately preparing themselves while here at Southeastern.