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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Page for Staying Ahead of the Game Academic Coaching & Tutoring

Questions & Answers About SAOTG

Welcome to our Academic Coaching and Tutoring Company’s FAQ page.

We understand that finding the right academic support for your child’s specific needs can be challenging, which is why we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you learn more about our services.

Our team of experienced educators and professionals are dedicated to providing personalized coaching and tutoring to students of all ages and levels. Whether your child is struggling with a specific subject or looking to improve overall study skills, we are here to help. Please take a moment to browse our FAQs and feel free to reach out to us with any additional questions.

List of Questions By Topic

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Getting Started with SAOTG Academic Coaching & Tutoring

Who is SAOTG?

Staying Ahead of the Game is the premier academic coaching and tutoring company serving the Greater Houston Area. Our uniqueness and commitment to excellence is reflected in our proprietary, research-driven, and award-winning executive function program. We specialize in addressing fundamental skills such as organization, time management, study techniques, and social competencies to help students achieve academic success and develop well-rounded processes for maximizing performance while minimizing stress. Our goal is to empower students to succeed not only in the classroom but also in all aspects of life. Learn more on our About Us page.

When and where do coaching sessions take place?

Our coaching services are designed to accommodate the needs of our students, with the flexibility to schedule meetings at their home or at their school, subject to prior approval. Alternatively, our centrally located office is also available as a convenient meeting point. Our coaching sessions usually occur 2-3 times per week, and our coaching team adjusts the frequency of meetings as necessary to ensure the best outcomes for our students over the course of a semester.

What are your primary service areas/locations?

We make every effort to accommodate students from as many areas in and around Houston as possible, but the majority of our students are centrally located in River Oaks, West University, Bellaire, Tanglewood, Meyerland, The Heights, Memorial, and the Medical Center. We are also happy to see clients at our centrally located office in Bellaire. We also have virtual services available for students all over Texas, as well as former/current students attending college out of state.

What services do you offer?

Our comprehensive range of services includes personalized one-on-one coaching for executive function skills, traditional subject tutoring, and standardized test preparation (ISEE/SAT/ACT). Additionally, we offer group programming covering specific executive function and life skills, topics tailored to participants’ academic coursework, and other special interest topics. These programs are offered at specific times throughout the year or upon request by a group sponsor. Finally, we offer the Mindprint Cognitive Assessment to identify students’ individual strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. Our skilled coaching team is dedicated to helping students achieve their full potential and attain academic success in a supportive and engaging learning environment. Learn more on our Services page.

What types of challenges do you address with students?

At SAOTG, we are committed to serving all learners, including those who have been formally diagnosed with learning differences. Our team has extensive experience working with students with mild to moderate ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurodiverse conditions. We believe that every student has unique strengths and challenges, and we strive to provide personalized support services to meet each individual’s needs. Our goal is to help all students overcome academic obstacles and achieve success, regardless of their learning profile.

How do you help students with ADHD or other learning differences?

We help students develop compensatory skills that leverage their strengths to manage areas of difficulty. Our expert coaches have the training and experience to provide personalized guidance and support to help students overcome academic challenges and achieve their goals. We believe that every student deserves an opportunity to learn and thrive, and we are committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

What is Executive Functioning?

Executive functioning refers to the cognitive processes that enable individuals to plan, prioritize, focus, remember important information, and manage multiple tasks simultaneously. These essential skills play a critical role in learning, development, and achieving success in various areas of life. At SAOTG, we recognize the importance of executive functioning skills and their impact on academic performance, as well as overall well-being. Our award-winning executive function program is designed to help students develop these crucial skills and apply them to their academic work and beyond. By focusing on the development of these fundamental skills, we help our students achieve success in all aspects of life. Learn more on our Executive Functioning Skills page.

Do you offer assessments for students?

At SAOTG, we are committed to providing personalized support and guidance to help students achieve academic success. To this end, we offer the Mindprint Cognitive Assessment, a scientifically validated tool that provides students with valuable insights into their learning style and cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Based on empirical data, this assessment enables us to design targeted approaches to teaching material that are tailored to each student’s unique learning profile. With this information, our expert coaches can provide personalized guidance that helps students achieve their academic goals more effectively. If you are interested in learning more about the Mindprint Cognitive Assessment and how it can benefit your child, please contact us today. Learn more on our MindPrint Cognitive Assessment page.

SAOTG does not perform clinical assessments on students or offer neuropsychological or psychoeducational testing. However, we refer to several specialists in town for these kind of assessments. Feel free to reach out for a professional referral.

How much does academic coaching/tutoring cost?

Our services are designed to be personalized and tailored to meet the specific needs of each student. We have an initial onboarding fee with several optional add-ons. Then, our coaching services are billed hourly with no long-term commitment required. We strive to ensure that our services are accessible to as many students as possible. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about our pricing and how we can work with you to develop a plan that fits your budget and academic goals.

What makes SAOTG different from other tutoring companies?

At SAOTG, our focus on executive function skills sets us apart from other tutoring companies. Our holistic approach to coaching and tutoring goes beyond traditional subject-specific instruction and aims to equip students with essential skills for long-term academic success. In addition, we are committed to building strong relationships with local professionals and schools, allowing us to collaborate with other members of a student’s support team to provide comprehensive, personalized support. Our team of expert coaches is dedicated to helping students achieve their full potential by providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment that fosters growth and development. We are proud to be the leading academic coaching and tutoring company in the Greater Houston Area, and we are committed to helping our students succeed both in and beyond the classroom. Learn more on our About Us page.

Why should I choose SAOTG?

SAOTG stands apart from other tutoring companies due to our unwavering dedication to providing student-focused lessons and methodology. Whether students are struggling to keep pace or soaring high, we believe every student can achieve growth with the right support system.

Our rigorous coach-student matching process ensures a seamless and personalized experience from the start. We place great emphasis on building long-lasting relationships beginning with the Mindprint Cognitive Assessment, which highlights a student’s strengths and weaknesses, and then culminating in our commitment to matching each student with a coach who complements their unique personality. Our program is highly customizable, tailored to meet the specific needs of each family, and designed to accommodate even the most challenging schedules and learning differences. At SAOTG, we believe in meeting students where they are and guiding them towards growth. That is our number one goal, and we are committed to helping our students achieve it.

How do I get started?

The first step is to reach out to us to fill out a new student application so we can learn more about your student’s needs.

SAOTG Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Coaching & Tutoring

What’s the difference between academic coaching and traditional subject tutoring?

Academic coaching is designed to impart skills and strategies that can be applied across all academic subjects and are valuable well beyond the student’s academic career. The primary goal is to foster confident and independent learners, irrespective of the academic challenges at hand. For example, a student who struggles to turn in daily assignments on time needs an academic coach.

In contrast, tutoring is focused on mastery of a particular subject or achieving a specific score on an exam. Tutors are adept at providing subject-specific support and improving a student’s understanding of a particular subject or section of a standardized test. For example, a student who needs to achieve a minimum standardized test score to improve candidacy for admission into a specific college needs a tutor. Luckily, we offer this service as well!

How do you choose what’s the best for your child? Download our ebook: Tutor vs. Academic Coach: A Parent’s Guide to Choosing the Right Support.

For what grades do you provide academic support services?

SAOTG coaches work with students of all ages, but the majority of our students are in grades 3-12 or in college.

What schools do your students attend?

Our students attend a variety of schools, both public and private. We have compiled a list of many of the schools we work with most frequently here.

Should I choose an academic coach or a traditional subject tutor for my child?

How do you choose what’s the best for your child? Download our ebook: Tutor vs. Academic Coach: A Parent’s Guide to Choosing the Right Support.

What happens in academic coaching sessions?

Academic coaching sessions are designed to support students in developing compensatory skills and enhancing their executive functioning. Through these sessions, students can create effective organizational systems for both physical materials and digital files, learn how to make the most of planners and calendars, improve their study skills to improve performance on assessments, and develop communication skills that allow them to effectively self-advocate and showcase their effort.

Is academic coaching effective?

The primary goal of academic coaching is to help students develop and strengthen critical executive function skills. Research has shown that well-developed executive functioning skills are associated with successful goal attainment in many areas of life (e.g.,  Jacob and Parkinson, 2015; Duckworth et al., 2019; Hofmann et al., 2012).

Will your academic coach assign extra homework to my child?

With the exception of very specific cases, coaches will not assign students extra homework; however, coaches may give students additional tasks to be completed regularly (e.g., put papers into the correct place in the binder, write assignments in the planner daily). These tasks are designed to help students develop new routines and habits that will serve them well both now and into the future.

When student needs dictate additional practice, such as when they are preparing to take standardized tests, coaches may assign targeted homework to maximize student performance and retention.

How does SAOTG communicate with parents? What info will I receive about my child’s progress?

Parents play an important role in each child’s circle of support. As such, our coaches will debrief with parents periodically for a two-way conversation about student progress. Of course, coaches will proactively reach out to parents if there is ever specific concerns. Coaches also take internal notes on every session they have with every student, which are monitored regularly by our coach coordination team who is making sure each child is seeing growth through our program. Parents are also welcome to initiate conversations and communicate directly with their coach via phone, text, or email as needed. Please note that conversations lasting more than 15 minutes may be billed.


Coaches & Sessions

What are the most important qualities in an academic coach?

Our team members are selected based on their own academic achievements, executive function skills, experience supporting students, and personality. All of our coaches have proven their ability to navigate the classroom successfully, but each coach has a unique style and lens on the world of academics. Many of our coaches have backgrounds in education and the social sciences, and some have advanced degrees and credentials in special education and/or the hard sciences. We take tremendous care in matching each student with the right coach on our team to achieve the specific learning objectives identified.

Who are your academic coaches? What certifications, training, and experience do they have?

Many of our coaches have backgrounds in education and the social sciences, and some have advanced degrees and credentials in special education and/or the hard sciences. Our coach selection process takes into account coaches’ academic accomplishments, as well as personality, experience, and communication skills. Each coach participates in our coach onboarding and enrichment process, during which we have one goal in mind: equip coaches with the tools and support they need to help students reach their potential through the power of enhanced executive function skills. Meet our coaches on our Staff page.

How is my child matched with a coach?

When choosing the right coach for students, we consider not just the students’ needs and schedule, but also their personality and interests. We want students and their coaches to connect in a way that allows for easy rapport-building to optimize results.

How frequent are academic coaching sessions?

Initially, we require that students meet with their coaches a minimum of twice per week, so that they are well supported while working to establish new routines and habits.

What happens if the assigned academic coach is not a good fit for my child?

At SAOTG, we recognize that the bond between students and their academic coach plays a crucial role in achieving academic success. We strongly advocate for transparent communication between students and coaches to ensure that the coaching relationship is fruitful and constructive. In the unlikely event that your child and the assigned coach are not compatible, we encourage you to openly discuss your concerns with our coach coordination team. If, after the discussion, you are not satisfied with the coaching relationship, we will collaborate with you to identify a new coach that is a better match for your child’s needs and preferences. Our ultimate objective is to guarantee that every student feels at ease and encouraged throughout their academic journey, and we are committed to implementing any required adjustments to achieve this.

How long is each session?

We take pride in providing our students with the utmost flexibility when it comes to academic coaching sessions. We understand the importance of allowing sessions to come to a natural stopping point and avoiding disruptions to a student’s academic momentum. Therefore, rather than offering fixed-length appointments, we strive to make session lengths as flexible as possible. For in-person sessions, we require a minimum length of 1 hour, with most sessions lasting between an hour and an hour and a half. Our virtual sessions have a minimum length of 15 minutes, making them a convenient option for quick check-ins or standard sessions. On average, our students spend about 2.5 hours per week working with a coach.

Will my child work with the same academic coach every session?

At SAOTG, we understand the importance of consistency in the coaching relationship between your child and their academic coach. We strive to ensure that all of a student’s needs are met by their primary coach, but in some cases, there may be a need for a supplemental subject-specific coach, such as for a foreign language, specialty subject, or standardized test prep. In such instances, students may occasionally meet with a coach who is not their primary coach. Additionally, in the rare event that a coach leaves, we have protocols in place to ensure a seamless transition to a new coach. We are committed to providing the best possible coaching experience for your child, and we will work with you to make sure their needs are met.

How do I schedule a session?

The first step is to reach out to us to fill out a student application and tell us more about your student’s needs. Once we have completed the coach matching process, all sessions will be scheduled directly with your student’s assigned coach.

SAOTG Texas tutors

Community Outreach

What services does SAOTG provide to schools and educational groups?

SAOTG has partnered with schools to provide workshops for the entire study body and to provide small group programs for selected students on campus. We have also hosted seminars for educators and binder systems that were implemented.

Learn more about our Educational Consulting services.

Learn more about our Community Outreach initiatives.

Have more questions? We’re here to help.

Call us at (713) 665-GAME or email us today.
If you’re ready to get started with academic coaching or tutoring, click the link below to submit your child’s information on our intake form.