MAICEI Program Educational Coaches FAQs

The Educational Coach plays a vital role in the success of a student’s participation in the MAICEI Program at NECC. They help students to understand themselves as learners, teach students how to advocate for themselves, and provide natural supports, as minimally as possible. An Ed Coach will help enrolled students in making the transition to college life.

Q. What is MAICEI?
A. MAICEI (Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative) is a program that provides dual enrollment opportunities for students ages 18-22 with intellectual disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders, to participate in an inclusive college experience. Students have the opportunity to take college courses for credit or audit.

Q. What is an educational coach?
A. An educational coach is a person who works to “even the playing field” for students with disabilities in postsecondary education. A coach is someone who knows the student’s strengths and weaknesses and uses that information to provide individualized support in an academic environment. The Education Coach will accompany the student to class and may fulfill the role of an Accommodation Assistant by acting as a Note taker, Reader and or Scribe, as outlined in the student’s Accommodation Plan. During class they may provide cues about expected behavior as well as interpret instructions and materials in a way that the student can understand.  Furthermore, the coach will support the student in communicating his or her own needs to the school (i.e., instructors, tutors, peers, the MAICEI Coordinator, student advisor, etc.).

Q. What should a college instructor do differently for a student with an educational coach?
A. Nothing. Ideally, the instructor should have the same expectations for all the students in the class, including students who have educational coaches.  All students should be held to the same standards.

Q. Should the instructor direct questions to the educational coach?
A. No. The instructor should direct all questions and communication to the student.  However, the educational coach may assist with communication as needed.

Q. Will the coach/mentor give the answers to the student on tests?
A. No, never. The goal of the mentor/coach is to teach the individual strategies to become a successful college student and then fade from the picture. The coach may teach the student how to prepare for tests and how to take them. However, the coach will never give the student answers to test questions or do the work for the student.

Q. Is an educational coach a tutor?
A. An educational coach may at times provide some of the same services as a tutor, yet they are different. A major difference between a tutor and an educational coach is that a coach typically attends class with the student.  A coach does not simply help the student with the course material after class but “coaches” the individual in how to be a successful student.  This may include recognizing social cues within the classroom, learning how to use a textbook, learning how to respond to instruction, etc. Additionally, an educational coach may help a student access tutoring services, use the writing or math labs, and other resources.

Q. What happens if the Educational Coach is unexpectedly absent one day?
A. If an Educational Coach is unable to accompany the student to class due to sickness or some other reason, they should notify the MAICEI Coordinator and the instructor as soon as possible.  A substitute will be sent.

Q. Will the coach attend all classes? For the whole semester?
A. Yes, in most cases.  The role of the Educational Coach is to provide only the amount of support necessary.  Ideally, the coach will fade the amount of participation as the student develops skills and becomes more independent. The decision about when and how much to fade support will be made on an individual basis after consultation with the team.  

Q. Who should I contact, if I have any questions or concerns?
A. Theresa Yurewicz, Program Coordinator/MAICEI
The LA Center Phone: 978-556-3646  Fax: 978-556-3168
Email: tyurewitz@necc.mass.edu