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Frequently Asked Questions

Student FAQs

The Achieving the Promise Academy is Montgomery College’s academic coaching program, created in 2016 by a collegewide taskforce convened to develop strategies and scale existing programs that would close the  “achievement gap” and promote student success, especially for students historically marginalized and underserved in higher education.

We offer collegewide academic coaching support, as well as virtual coaching, available to all MC students, at no cost. Academic coaching is designed to help you do your best academically, keep you on track,  and help you complete your academic goals in a timely manner.

Our academic coaches will help you build on your strengths and improve in any areas of concern, so that you excel academically. With the opportunities, assistance and tools that ATPA provides, every student can learn the academic skills, habits, knowledge, and mindsets that help them meet their full potential, transform lives, and change the world. 

Academic coaching--like all academic support at MC--is offered at no cost to students.

Embedded academic coaching is available in select courses that have been historically challenging for students to pass.  When possible, departments mark sections that have embedded support as an "ATPA support" course, searchable in the class schedule. Most departments aim to assign a coach to every section of those classes, though. For details, contact the relevant department.

To see which courses regularly have embedded coaches, please visit

Proven Results! Passing courses with a C or higher reduces the need to repeat courses, saves you money, and keeps you on track to graduate.

Over 85% of students who work with a personal academic coach maintain good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. In Spring 2023, students working with a personal academic coach had an average GPA of 2.83. Twenty percent of students had a 4.0 GPA!

By working with a personal academic coach, you also gain access to services and opportunities uniquely available to ATPA students, such as financial resources for tuition, fees and textbooks; the ability to borrow academic supplies; and sponsorship opportunities to participate in national conferences and other enrichment activities.

Students in courses with embedded academic coaches do better in those courses, compared to students without coaches. Because embedded coaches are trained to help you with not only what you're learning in a course, but how to learn as well, they can help you build the skills to do better in all of your classes. 

Students' average rating for their embedded coaching experience was 4.75 out of 5, and students who met with a coach kept meeting with them. Over 1/3 of students who met with an embedded coach in Spring 2023, met with their coach 5 or more times that semester.

Your coach will get to know you better, then help you develop a personalized success plan based on your pre-coaching survey, academic history, current courses, academic plan, personal goals, and past performance.

To continue receiving coaching services, you are expected to meet with your coach regularly, according to the schedule you and your coach agree upon.

To make the most out of coaching, you'll want to meet regularly. ATPA recommends every week or every other week. However, you can meet virtually, in-person, by phone--whatever works best for you. As your goals and needs change each semester, you and your coach can adjust how often you decide to meet.

Minimum requirements for students to stay active and be eligible for benefits like tuition assistance include:

  • Regular coaching sessions as agreed to with your coach
  • Participation in at least two workshops or other academic engagement outside the classroom each semester
  • Passing your current semester's courses

Once you start working with a personal academic coach, you'll be able to keep meeting until you graduate or transfer. If you are in a class with an embedded coach, you will be able to meet with that coach until the course ends.

All students are welcome to attend our monthly Learning Community Hour or join the ATPA GroupMe chat!
Visit our LinkTree to see upcoming meetings and links:

Call us at 240-567-ATPA (2872) or send an email to

You can also use our Drop-in Coaching service to meet with an academic coach 7 days/week, with morning, afternoon and evening options:

Faculty and Staff FAQs

Recommend a Student for ATPAnew window. Prior to recommending that a student request an academic coach, we encourage you to have a conversation with the student about MC's Achieving the Promise Academy and the benefits of academic coaching.The fastest way for a student to connect with a coach is to use our Drop-in Coaching hours. They can also request a personal academic coach directly.

If you instead choose to submit a recommendation, our staff will contact the student to learn more about their academic needs and aspirations, provide an overview of our coaching services, and invite them to request a coach.

If the student is currently enrolled in your course, ATPA may contact you to gather additional information and request an initial academic progress report. Please View Sample Academic Progress Report (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) .

Students are provided a sample email to share with their faculty to inform you they are receiving academic coaching. At any time, you may also follow up on the status of a student’s coaching request by contacting Marie Arthus at

ATPA partners with particular departments to embed academic coaching support in high-priority courses. If your department partners with ATPA, let your department chair know that you are interested in hosting a colleague as a coach.

If your department does not host embedded coaching, consider inviting a member of our Outreach Team to present to your classes, invite us to host a group coaching workshop during class, or integrate coaching into an assignment with our Drop-in Coaching service. Contact to discuss possibilities.

Academic coaches are partners with their students' instructors to support their academic success.

All ATPA Coaches benefit from instructor feedback about students' needs, which helps guide coaching sessions with the student, alert coaches to upcoming assignments and exams, target specific areas of concern, and monitor the student's progress in a course.

Faculty are encouraged to regularly reach out to a student's coach with any information and recommendations that would support the student's academic success. All communications between coaches and faculty comply with FERPA.

Instructors hosting department colleagues as embedded coaches should also receive weekly emails from coaches and are encouraged to work collaboratively to integrate embedded coaching support into class discussions, assignments, and other classroom activities as possible.

All MC employees are welcome to join us for our monthly Coaching Community Seminars, pre-semester Coaches Institutes, and other professional development offerings.

If you are a current MC staff or part-time faculty member eligible for additional Alt-ESH opportunities and interested in becoming an academic coach, let us know! In particular, we are always in need of additional coaches who can specialize in supporting English and math courses.