Hi, I’m Sue Schaefer, the owner of Academic Coaching Associates (ACA).
After years of teaching I took the leap and began Academic Coaching Associates in 2010, well before anyone knew the term “academic coaching,” let alone “executive functions.“
I started ACA with a vision of helping students succeed, especially those who underperform in school because of executive function difficulties.
Personally, I struggled with disorganization and academics in school — missed assignments, performed poorly on tests even after studying for hours, and lost focus in class. Since I was considered to be a social butterfly, my high school guidance counselor recommended that I become a waitress, as I was “not college material.”
Luckily, my parents were having none of that and sent me to college.
Temple University admitted me as a provisional student, meaning that I started my college journey already on probation.
I worked harder than I ever had in my life, and, still, my grades were below average. I had so much trouble keeping up and became overwhelmed easily.
I applied to Penn State as a transfer student, and they admitted me just three days before classes started. It was there that I finally realized I could not do this on my own and sought help in developing coping skills and strategies. I reached out to professors, friends who performed well, and my academic advisor. Through this self-advocacy, I learned to manage my time better, find an organization system that worked for me, develop good study strategies, and found my love of learning. I went on to earn two master’s degrees in education and taught as a tenured classroom teacher. I am proud to be a pioneer in the field of academic and executive function coaching. My quest has remained steady over the years, to help struggling students who find school frustrating and difficult, like I did, succeed and thrive in an academic setting.