What is Academic Coaching?

Because students with ADHD don’t often fit into academic environments, an academic coach will work with students to close the gap between students’ abilities and intellects and the expectations of the academic environment. An academic coach will start by listening to students to determine where they currently are with learning/life skills and work with the students to help them understand how to utilize their strengths in the educational environments.

An academic coach will work to bridge the gap between the struggles neurodiverse learners face and the school system and environment. The coach will listen to students in order to empower students to realize their goals and then to create action steps which will enable students to reach those goals. The coach will also help students learn to be accountable for these goals and work along side them to strengthen the student’s executive function skills. Most importantly, the coach will encourage students to use their strengths to learn skills and determine a path to independent success.

What skills will academic coaching build?

  • Strategic learning strategies

  • Task initiation

  • Overcoming procrastination

  • Organization

  • Powerful study skills

  • Time management

  • Overcoming avoidance of homework

Meet Gena VanderMeulen

As an academic coach, Gena will help students understand how to utilize strategies to address their difficulties of learning with ADHD. Most importantly, she will help students believe they can be successful.

Gena was a high school English teacher for 31 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education, English and psychology from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Boise State University.


    • Graduate of ACA Coach Academies
    • Certified Professional Academic Coach
    • Associate Credentialed Coach through the International Coaching Federation
    • Graduate of JST Coaching and Training with an emphasis on Coaching Neurodiverse Learners
    • Chaos Free Family trained coach
    • Anti-boring Approach to Powerful Studying trained coach
    • Member ADHD Coaches Organization
    • Certificate in Applied Neuroscience & Brain Health from the Brain Coach Bootcamp/The Neuroscience Academy
    • Executive Function Specialist
    • Certified Bernstein Performance Model Specialist

How Does Academic Coaching Work?


  1. Introductory Call– Is Academic Coaching right for You?
    • Schedule a complimentary 15-minute phone call with Gena to decide if academic coaching is a good fit for you or your student.
  2. Academic Coaching
    • During a series of 55-minute sessions, in person or over Zoom, students will build the necessary skills to succeed.
  3. Parent Consultation
    • During 25 minute sessions,  parents or guardians discuss their questions or concerns with the academic coach.
  4. Educational Services Support
    • This service will provide insights and offer straightforward, practical information about ADHD and its impact on all areas of learning for your student.