Academic Coaching for Undergraduates | Advising Center

Make an Academic Coaching Appointment

Meet the academic coaches in ACA: 

Sara Alvarez Olvera - In person appointments available on Monday-Wednesday and Friday

Photo of woman with dark hair pulled back and a yellow sweater, smilingHello! My name is Sara, I use she/they pronouns and I am the Advising Resources Coordinator and Office Manager in ACA. I was born in Michoacan, Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. when I was 5 years old. After high school I attended Portland Community College for six years in pursuit of an Associate's degree. At PCC I held multiple student leadership positions, working for the Multicultural Center and Women’s Resource Center. As a first generation student I learned to navigate the complex higher education system, it was not easy but thanks to the folks I worked with, I obtained my Associates in 2018. Now I am working full time at Pacific while at the same time working towards my undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. I believe that education should be an opportunity available to anyone. However, I also know that being a student is not easy. I am here to assist students in navigating this system and making their college experience enjoyable and memorable. I am here to listen to students and offer guidance on how to make this transition in life a bit easier.

Kata Autobee - In person appointments available Monday-Thursday

Black and white photo of woman with long dark hair with bangs, smiling.Hello! My name is Kata, I use she/her pronouns and I am the Academic Success Specialist in the ACA. I am affiliated with the Genízaro tribal community of Pueblo de Abiquiu, as well as a descendent of the Pueblos of Taos and Ohkay Owingeh in what is now known as New Mexico. I currently reside in Forest Grove and serve as the Community Member Representative for the Indigenous Student Alliance where I collaborate with Pacific University and local tribal communities throughout the northwest. After my time as an undergraduate at University of Oregon studying Sociology and Native American Studies, I have come to specialize in working alongside BIPOC students- particularly serving Indigenous populations in higher education. I am excited to be a part of the ACA, and extend my offer to any and all students who seek academic coaching during their time at Pacific!

Lea Griess - In person and virtual appointments available Monday-Friday

Woman with dark hair and glasses, smilingHi, my name is Lea, I use she/her pronouns and I serve as the academic success coordinator in Academic and Career Advising. After graduating from Pacific in 2011 with a bachelors in Sociology and a minor in Spanish, I went on to pursue my masters of education from Oregon State University specializing in college student development. Since then I have worked with college students from all walks of life at Chemeketa Community College, Southern Oregon University and now at Pacific. My passion lies in supporting students with identities that have been historically excluded from higher education as they discover their purpose and goals while also navigating the tricky systems and processes of a university. I am so lucky to work on a team with both Sara and Kata as we strive to create a space on campus where students feel valued and heard. Looking forward to connecting with you!

Why meet with an Academic Coach?

College academics are challenging for a variety of reasons for many students at various times throughout their time at Pacific. The academic coaching team at Pacific aims to acknowledge educational systems do not always center our humanity, and challenge the notion that academic performance defines our worth. No matter where you are in your academic journey, you are enough.

One-on-one virtual and in person coaching appointments are available in the Academic and Career Advising Center. You can meet with an academic coach to focus on a specific topic, or set up ongoing sessions as often as you need for continual support. Sign up for a coaching session below, or email with questions.

Academic coaching is available to all undergraduate students as an additional resource to enhance their academic experience at Pacific. Visit this webpage for academic resources beyond coaching.



What is Academic Coaching?

Coaching is a one-time or series of conversations that are meant to enhance your well-being and your academic performance. Coaching provides structured support to undergraduate students who want to improve their academic success, and reach their goals at Pacific and beyond. Pacific offers professional academic coaching through Academic & Career Advising. 


What are the benefits? 

All students at Pacific can benefit from academic coaching. Academic coaching sessions can help you build and enhance the following skills:

  • Campus resource navigation
  • Mindset and learning preferences
  • Notetaking and textbook/academic reading
  • Self-advocacy and professional communication
  • Stress management and wellbeing
  • Study skills and strategies
  • Test prep, test taking and managing test anxiety
  • Time and workload management
  • Utilizing and deciphering course syllabi

…and so much more!


Types of Academic Coaching:

Coaching sessions are also split into two different categories: Coaching & Strategy.

  • Coaching Sessions: Ongoing, individual appointments with the academic success coordinator (usually once a week or every other week). These provide long-term support for a student.
  • Strategy Sessions: One-time appointments with the academic success coordinator, for students who want to work on a specific strategy or skill.

Students can sign up for either coaching or strategy sessions or both! There is no limit to academic coaching sessions at Pacific. The academic success coordinator will work with you to find the best structure to support you as you work towards your academic goals.


What can I expect from my coaching session?

Undergraduate academic coaching appointments are one-on-one virtual conversations with the academic success coordinator to support you in establishing and achieving your academic goals at Pacific. Since the sessions focus on your needs and goals, the coaching appointment will go at the direction YOU want it to. The academic success coordinator will listen, ask questions, and provide information and resources, but for the most part, we’ll be talking through and thinking about the goals you want to accomplish, putting you in control and giving you agency over your academic success.


Contact Us

Sara Alvarez Olvera | Academic Coach
AuCoin Hall 129 |

Kata Autobee | Academic Success Specialist
AuCoin Hall 129 |

Lea Griess | Academic Success Coordinator
AuCoin Hall 129 |