College Coaches

About Us:

College Coaches seeks to provide high school students in the Walla Walla community with strong Whitman volunteer role models who will help students develop self-confidence in their ability to be successful in higher education through promoting academic commitment, strong study skills, goal setting, and college planning awareness.

College Coaches is the only school based Community Service program for high school students, so it provides a completely unique opportunity to serve students at this particular age level (other programs serve elementary school ages). College Coaches is the only Community Service program that can provide volunteers with hands-on classroom experience. So many Whitties involved with the program are interested in education reform, TFA, and other post-graduate education goals.

College Coaches was established in 2010 and continues to do ground-breaking Community Service work each day. The program strive to be the perfect combination of mentor and tutor, giving students motivation to achieve their dreams and the tools to help them get there.

You can contact us by calling the Student Engagement Center at (509) 527-5183 or by emailing For the most recent information on College Coaches view our posts on the SEC Blog.

What does it take to be a college coach?

  • One hour/week commitment for the entirety of the semester you apply for (like all Community Service office programs).
  • Carpools are always available!
  • You must attend one Orientation session per academic year to be familiar with Walla Walla School District policies and Whitman Community Service office expectations.
  • You must fill out required Walla Walla public school background checks (which you must pass), Volunteer Disclosure Agreements, and Community Service Liability waivers.
  • You will be matched with a Guided Study classroom based on your availability, which you give in a short but absolutely necessary application.
  • Coaches help the classroom teacher by keeping students on task to get their homework done, checking their progress reports and planners, assisting with assignments and study skills. Coaches also often lead small group activities designed to motivate students to pursue college dreams.
  • You should come to all of your shifts positive, energized, and ready to serve!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Guided Study?
Guided Study is a class offered at Walla Walla High School for certain students who either specifically request the class or who are referred to it based on low academic performance. Some students are directly placed in Guided Study from middle school, others come in later, after an unsuccessful quarter or other reasons. Students can "test out" of Guided Study by improving their academic performance after a certain period of time (but always at the end of a quarter -- students do not leave mid-quarter).

The classroom is designed to provide specifically 9th and 10th grade students with a structured environment that gives students time to complete work independently. The curriculum also provides support in the way of study skills. Students fill out planners, set goals, check progress reports, and complete their work all under the supervision of a teacher and a para-educator. Guided Study also provides an opportunity for students to be exposed to the possibilities of college. Students will explore different schools, learn about the application process and expectations schools set for their applicants, and apply that information to their own academic standing.

What do College Coaches do in Guided Study?
College Coaches do a variety of things! One is general supervision -- they help students with work, keep them on task, and help them decide how best to use their independent study hour. Sometimes this takes very little energy. Other times, this means sitting down with individual students and taking them through an assignment step by step. Often, the Guided Study teacher will identify particular students she would like to have extra help, but other times, Coaches wander the room and help where students ask for it or where it seems appropriate at the Coach's discretion.

Coaches are also asked to lead small group activities that ask students to look at different colleges, aspects of the college application process, or focus on particular study skills. These activities are a nice break from the regular tutoring day and give volunteers a chance to help fulfill the "college" part of College Coaches!

How/Where/When do I apply?
We accept applications at the beginning of each semester (in September and in January). Joining our listserv will ensure that you get an application link -- otherwise, links will also be posted here and to the larger volunteer listserv (which any community service minded person should join by contacting the Events and Reflections intern by e-mailing!).