No Longer on the Sidelines
All of those factors have contributed to clients’ unsuccessful attempts to attend college or even maintain employment. Thus, as part of the program at Collegiate Coaching Services, which lasts anywhere from six months to a year, coaches and clients together develop individual plans with established goals and objectives for each month that could include joining a recreational sports team, attending a 12-step meeting, and finding employment.
“We have a 100% success rate in helping our clients find employment,” Markle says. “Because we specialize in academic and college success, and career success, a lot of times our clients will seek us out for those reasons as well as for our recovery support.”
Sometimes clients come to Collegiate Coaching Services with the intention of getting a four-year degree but discover during the coaching process that the college journey is not for them. “We are here to empower people, to find their path,” Markle says. They might switch from a college degree to a vocation or a career. The coaches help them determine the right direction and then set them up with internships, apprenticeships, or the right college. Despite the name—Collegiate Coaching Services—clients are not required to attend college.
The program prioritizes steps as follows: 1) therapeutic coaching; 2) emotional regulation; and 3) academics. “The way we view it is if our clients are not self-regulated, they are not going to be good students,” Markle says. So when they arrive, if they are coming from out of the Boulder area, which roughly 60% do, Collegiate Coaching Services implements its supervised independent living model. The program does not own transitional housing, but it assembles a transition team that helps the young adult find living arrangements that meet their budgets and size requirements—and in areas of town that promote recovery.
Markle admits that they avoid places that come with free Wi-Fi, specifically for clients who struggle with Internet overuse, as well as residences that are in party-centric or marijuana-heavy neighborhoods. Once residency is established, the client is assigned to two primary therapeutic coaches, who meet one-on-one with the client twice daily. They help the recovering young adult with making breakfast, getting to therapy/psychological appointments on time, laundry, finding a job, getting to class, grocery shopping, or other essential life skills that may have gotten delayed as a result of mental health or addiction issues. Clients could have up to 30 hours of weekly structured support. Over time as they require less support, however, the team individualizes the clients’ programs to ensure the young adults get what they need to reach their goals.
Throughout the recovery process, the Collegiate Coaching Services program plays to each client’s strengths. During the assessment phase, the team worked to identify the strengths and continues to evaluate them each month. It is a tenet of the program to motivate clients based on their strengths.