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The Best Academic Coach Certification Programs

Last updated on February 16, 2024

If you’re aspiring to become an academic coach, you might find yourself facing a big challenge—selecting a certification program that’s reputable and tailored to your objectives from the abundance of life coaching programs available. This decision may seem daunting, but not for long, as we’re introducing you to the best academic coach certifications.

In this post, besides the top academic coach certification programs, we’ll go through the basics of academic coaching and what you need to understand before opting for a certification program. Let’s dive in.

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What Is an Academic Coach?

An academic coach is a life coach who provides guidance, support, and personalized assistance to students to help them excel academically and reach their educational goals. Academic coaches work with students of all ages, from elementary school to college, and beyond. 

Their primary role is to help students develop study skills, time management techniques, organizational strategies, and problem-solving abilities.

Some key responsibilities of an academic coach include the following:

  • Assisting students in setting clear academic and personal goals, such as improving grades, preparing for standardized tests, or enhancing overall learning skills
  • Teaching students how to study efficiently and effectively
  • Providing guidance on how to overcome academic challenges
  • Helping students manage their time by creating schedules and routines that balance academic tasks with extracurricular activities and personal life
  • Working on developing organizational skills, including task prioritization and keeping track of assignments and deadlines
  • Providing strategies to boost students’ motivation and self-confidence

How To Become an Academic Life Coach

To excel as an academic coach and guide others toward their educational goals, it’s crucial to arm yourself with the right knowledge, tools, and confidence in this specialized field. This level of expertise is best achieved through an academic coaching certification program.

These tailored programs provide you with access to proven techniques and strategies that can be applied effectively to your students. In addition, a reputable credential encourages students and their parents to place greater trust in your guidance.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Academic Coaching Certification

How can you ensure that you’re making a wise investment in your future as an academic coach? Take into account the program’s cost, duration, and accreditation to find a training program that aligns with your needs.

Program Cost

First, be sure to consider both the cost and the potential long-term benefits of coach training. Seek out programs that offer a balance of affordability, quality, accreditation, and positive reviews. What mainly determines the price of the course is whether it is an online program or in-person. Opting for online learning unlocks the door to more diversified options, increasing your chances of finding a great fit within your budget. 

Course Length

Next, think about how long the certification program takes. Do you want to obtain certification within a few weeks, or do you want to immerse yourself in academic coach training for a year? Pick a duration that fits your timing and desired learning speed. If you require flexibility, consider self-paced courses. They alleviate the pressure of deadlines and enable you to learn at your own pace and convenience.


Lastly, consider whether the certification is accredited. Accreditation can make your certification more credible and recognized, but it’s not a must-have credential. Some excellent certifications don’t have the industry’s top accreditation.

The most well–known accrediting body is the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and not all programs obtain this accreditation. If you’re interested in a program without it, you can always get the ICF credential later by taking a general life coaching program like the Coach Training Alliance. You can learn more about this ICF-accredited course in our review.

Best Coaching Certifications for Becoming an Academic Coach

Comprehensive Option: Academic Life Coaching 

If you’re seeking robust, ICF-accredited academic coaching programs, our top pick is Academic Life Coaching. This program was the first to earn approval from the ICF for offering certification for individuals aspiring to become academic life coaches. It is tailored to coaches in this field who want to coach high school students, college students, and graduate levels.

Academic Life Coaching  logo
Academic Life Coaching – Academic Life Coaching Program

The Academic Life Coaching Program consists of three courses. Each one can be taken individually, or you can combine them to complete the entire accredited coach training program. The courses follow this sequence:

  • 1.0 Academic Life Coaching Training
  • Mentor Coaching
  • 2.0 Advanced Coach Training

The curriculum is backed by research and positive psychology principles and is delivered through live online sessions by Coach Training EDU. The program teaches essential coaching skills, tools for working with young people, and how to set up a successful coaching practice. 

  • Course Length: 12 months (the complete program)
  • Program Cost: $5,760
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Academic and Life Coaching Option: ACA Coach Academies

The ACA coach training program aims to teach you coaching skills in a hands-on and transformative way through lessons and mentor coaching. It’s suitable for professional coaches, life coaches, and academic coaches.

ACA Coach Academies logo
ACA Coach Academies – Academic Coaching

During the program, you’ll learn the essentials of coaching, including effective questioning and active listening. The program’s goal is to prepare you for a successful coaching career and teach you skills applicable to academic coaching. It’s more focused on general coaching skills, making the program ideal for those who want to polish their overall life coaching capabilities. 

  • Course Length: 6 months
  • Program Cost: $7,995
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Instructional Coaching Option: Penn GSE 

If you’d like to coach educators rather than students, you can consider niching down to instructional coaching. To obtain a professional credential in this field, consider the Instructional Coaching Penn GSE Certificate.

Penn GSE logo
Penn GSE – Instructional Coaching Penn GSE Certificate

The program blends self-paced learning and live virtual lessons for enhanced engagement. It centers around guiding adults in education and introduces you to the mindsets, skills, and tools you can use to support others in learning. 

The curriculum is divided into five main parts: vision, trust, listening, language, and protocols. You also get to meet with a coaching expert to practice skills together.  

  • Course Length: 8 months
  • Program Cost: $4,500
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Budget Option: Transformation Academy

Do you wish to improve certain academic coaching skills? Transformation Academy has an amazing range of niche certifications that allow academic coaches to specialize and master specific coaching techniques.

Transformation Academy (TA) logo
Transformation Academy – Focus Mastery – Breakthrough Life Coach Certification

Their library of certifications features over 35 niche certifications, from goal success and group coaching to focus mastery. All the courses are self-paced, so they can align with anyone’s schedule.

To find out more about TA and its offerings, head to our in-depth review.

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $197 (Get 50% off using our link. Discount applied at checkout.)
  • Accreditation: CPD
  • Mode of Delivery: Online


  • How much does an academic coach make?

The average salary of an academic coach is $53,323

  • Do you need a certification to be an academic coach?

Whether or not you’ll pursue this credential depends on personal preference; however, certification carries credibility and can help you define your niche.

  • How much does an academic coach certification cost?

The cost of coach training for academic coaches varies. The prices range from $4,000 to $8,000 if you want this specialized certification.

  • Does accreditation matter in an academic coach certification program?

Accreditation adds credibility to your certification and can open doors to more opportunities in the field. 

  • What is the most recognized coaching certification? 

Accreditation holds more weight in the world of coaching certification programs than the program name. Certification programs are numerous, which is why recognition is often tied to accreditation. Obtaining certifications from reputable institutions like ICF and CPD can ensure wide recognition.


Academic coaches play a vital role in helping students to become independent and successful learners, so this career is both incredibly rewarding and responsible. A certification program can provide you with the confidence and tools to coach students skillfully and make a name for yourself in this industry. 

You can gain niche training with Academic Life Coaching or general life coaching through Coach Training Alliance or Transformation Academy. Whatever route you choose, any of these certification programs can pave the path to a successful coaching career.

Take the Coach Certification Quiz

Need help choosing a coach training and certification program? We created this short quiz to help you find the best program for you.

Take the quiz

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