Academic Life Coaching History


A Drop of Inspiration
Academic Life Coaching’s history started back in 2005, when our founder, John Andrew Williams, was a middle and high school teacher in Southern Oregon. An article in Academic Leadership opened up the possibility that academics alone were perhaps not enough to prepare students to be successful. The field of life coaching and positive psychology were booming, and they provided people with additional perspectives on personal development, leadership, and the types of skills needed for young people to be successful. It became clear that it took both academic rigor and a distinct set of skills and tools from coaching for students to flourish in the long run.

From Ideas to Action
In order to apply his new understanding of life coaching and its potential benefit for young people, John began to integrate coaching exercises in his classes and established the initial flagship program Ivy League Coaches. Through experimentation and feedback from students, he identified which life coaching exercises and methods successfully worked with teens.

The Growth of the Company
In order to reach a larger market and expand the company’s mission, John moved from Southern Oregon to Portland, Oregon. Within a year, Ivy League Coaches’ client base tripled, and John was busy creating additional programs to work toward improving education. After a variety of rebranding moves and changes to the curriculum, Academic Life Coaching was born. In 2009, Rawan Albina and Gina Halsted participated in the first Academic Life Coaching training and became the first two Certified Academic Life Coaches. From this point, the company continued to grow to what it is today.

In just five years since the company’s establishment, John has trained over 250 coaches, spoken at multiple ICF conferences across the world, and developed additional life coach training programs. Academic Life Coaching has grown tremendously, and we are excited about the impact that is being made on education through our programs.


Academic Life Coaching’s philosophy is based on three basic principles:

  • We are all unique
  • We are all similar
  • People can naturally achieve emotional intelligence

Our company originated from a desire to help students gain the skills and knowledge most necessary to live a fulfilled, effective life. Our life coaching philosophy is designed to help answer a specific question: why do some students develop grit and emotional intelligence skills while others flounder?

Our core philosophy is centered on the belief that people can naturally develop strong emotional intelligence. We firmly believe that people are naturally motivated, naturally creative, naturally, resilient, and naturally empathetic. The challenge is finding the specific areas that need growth and exercise; this experience is unique to everyone but uses similar principles of investigation. We use principles from the International Coach Federation, along with an understanding of every individual’s uniqueness, in order to help young people achieve emotional intelligence and flourish.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search