Only serious students need apply, and this service can help

C. William Coakley of Academic Coaching Services leads a workshop to help prepare high school students for college.

Describe your business.

We specialize in preparing students for selective college admissions by assisting them with developing the academic skills necessary for collegiate success. Our role is not to work with failing students to help them pass. We focus on providing services to highly motivated students who want or need academic enrichment, making above-average students into excellent students.

What makes your business unique?

We pride ourselves on building and maintaining successful long-term relationships with students and their families. In fact, many of our clients are younger siblings of clients who now attend or graduated from excellent colleges and professional schools. Our student clients enjoy a relationship with us that may begin as early as middle school and remains strong throughout college and beyond.

Academic Coaching Services

Address: 1785 E. Sahara Ave., Suite 300, Las Vegas

Phone: 702-876-3000

Email: [email protected]


Hours and days of operation: By appointment only

Owned/operated by: C. William Coakley

In business since: 1995

What’s the most important part of your job?

In order for my guidance to be effective, I need to form a productive, encouraging and trusting relationship with each of my students. I get to know them by interviewing them frequently about personal goals, ideas and ambitions. I can spend hours discussing current events, book themes, personal life stories and other relevant topics to help students discover appropriate and effective topics for college essays and personal statements. Students need to find their voices and learn how better to describe their personal histories, goals and college plans.

What areas do students struggle with most and why?

Although math tutoring is probably the most lucrative small business in the Las Vegas community, local students struggle most with critical reading and original writing. Strong reading and writing skills are required for a successful college experience.

To prepare well for college, all students should read at least one book per week during summer breaks and one or more books each month during the school year — in addition to any required reading for ongoing classes. Comprehension, focus and speed can only improve with daily reading. As I am fond of saying to our students: Great artists and musicians practice their craft daily; your reading requires the same attention. A well read student can examine diverse ideas and experiences, develop intellectual curiosity and write persuasively. These are the foundations for pursuing and securing a great education.

What are students’ biggest fears about attending college?

Money. Most students and families worry about the exorbitant cost of attending college; too many hope for, or expect, scholarships to cover the entire expense. Unfortunately, families must better understand that a college education is an investment; therefore, they must expect to pay something. For lower-income families with incomes below $60,000, colleges offer huge sums of money to outstanding students. For middle- and higher-income families, the price for students to attend college out of state may be significant. Whatever the case, planning for college must start at an early age. The more prepared the student is for college success (hint: reading/enrichment), along with effective financial planning from the family, the better chance one has to get a college degree.

Tags: The Sunday