© 2016 Tina Kruse

Working with a coach is like having a personal trainer for academic health! 

Education is an investment of time, money, and energy. Academic coaching maximizes the student experience to make learning effective, enjoyable, and useful in the long term. Research shows that personalized, knowledgeable, motivated support leads to goal achievement and school success.


I am an educational psychologist with over 15 years of experience teaching college undergraduates at Macalester College. Both my PhD in the psychology of learning and my day-to-day interaction with college students gives me a clear vision about what teens and young adults need to succeed in their academic settings.

As a certified coach, I always build from the strengths of each student and facilitate their growth in the direction they want to go. The Academic Life Coaching model is well-supported by learning theory and well-proven in real lives of students. I am delighted to offer this coaching program to clients, guided by my own expertise in the education field.


The areas of focus in teaching and research inform my coaching. I specialize in social-emotional learning, achievement motivation, and youth leadership development. My recent book Making Change (Oxford University Press, 2019) describes the intersecting sources of positive youth development.

I'm also a mom to three children in high-school and middle-school. My role as a mom offers daily insight into the process of healthy and happy child development.

BA, English & Sociology, University of Notre Dame

MA, Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota

PhD, Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota

Tina Kruse, PhD

As heard on College Prep Podcast:

Listen now!

Academic website: www.tinapkruse.com



Perfect time to build academic skills toward success! Adolescents thrive

using this system. My coaching helps:

  • prep for college apps

  • make choices about college

  • manage stress

  • develop leadership

  • thrive in school


Excellent time for targeted strategies for success. It’s cost-effective: don’t waste tuition simply treading water. My coaching helps:

  • select a major

  • choose a career path

  • keep grades up

  • manage stress & enjoy learning


Pivotal time in a young person's life. My coaching helps:
  • direct efforts toward longer-term
  • transition living patterns
  • aim for health and happiness
  • connect personal strengths to opportunities and launch new career


Student Success Package

For high school & college students​​

  • Uses a structured, tried-and-true program

  • 4-6 months; 8 sessions biweekly

  • Email/text communications between sessions

  • Written summaries after each session

College Major Package

For enrolled college students​​

Transition Package

For students leaving, entering or re-entering school

  • 1-2 months

  • 3 sessions

  • Email/text between sessions

  • Written summaries each session

  • 2-4 months; 4 sessions

  • Email/text between sessions

  • Written summaries each session

$1,350 or 3 payments of $500


Discounts or scholarships available.



"Tina helped me realize the real reason

I wasn't getting things done."

--Jason S., college sophomore

"Our son received his coaching with Tina over one semester and we stayed out of it.  At the end of the semester, his grades had risen from a C average to straight A's! What more could we ask for?!"

--Jason's parents

"Working with Tina throughout college completely changed the way I viewed myself as a student, learner, activist and professional...Her caring nature and unwavering passion for what she does make it impossible to not be comfortable in her presence.”

--Phoebe M., former student

"Initially, I was uncertain of what direction I wanted to go and she helped me clarify my goals and the possibilities for what I could do both while in college and in the years to follow. Tina helped me to articulate ideas and interests that I had not fully considered or explored and she helped me put them into action. She helped me translate my skills to guide my direction, as I went on to work and eventually to graduate school.

--Leah K., MSW, former student & client

What is academic coaching?

Professional coaching means partnering with clients in a structured but flexible process so that the clients can maximize their own potential success. Academic life coaching is not tutoring, mentoring, or advising!

What age are the students you coach?
My academic coaching is effective for students in middle-school, high-school and college, as well as recent college grads. The "sweet spot" for my academic coaching is ages 15-20 years.
How long does coaching take to work?
Most students benefit from several months or more because time is an important ingredient in changing habits and mindsets. However, some clients only need a single session to "tweak" a particular issue. I offer flexible approaches to suit every student.
How do we know if it works?

The field of coaching defines success as internal and external changes:


Internal indicators include shifts in thinking, self-awareness and self-management and outlook, such as optimism. External indicators include outputs such as progress on school projects and grades; acceptance or selection into desired schools or programs; feedback from others, such as teacher or parent observations.

Where do coaching sessions take place?

I coach clients both in person and virtually. Both have been shown to be effective. Virtually: by phone or via Skype. In person: in the Minneapolis west metro area.

How do we get started?

After an initial contact with me, I follow up with parents or student to find out the primary goals of coaching at this time. Then, I set up a complimentary 30-minute call to give the potential client a sample of the coaching process. Once committed, the client and/or parents sign a contract for services and establish payment plans. We then arrange the scheduling of sessions for the contracted time period, based on mutual availability.

What if we change our minds?

Services can be cancelled with 30-day notice at any point in the relationship. A pro-rated refund will be issued, minus a $25 admin fee.