What is the Peer Health Coach Approach?

Peer Health Coaching is:

  • Focused on the positive future, not fear of a negative past or consequence
  • Student-centered approach that focuses on eliciting and strengthening motivation to change.
  • Non-judgmental
  • Views the student as capable and competent
  • Focuses on the whole student and facilitating performance, learning, and development.
  • Focuses on Salutogenesis (focus on factors that promote health and well-being) vs. Pathogenesis (focus on factors that cause disease). 
  • Goal and solution focused

Limits of Peer Health Coaching

Peer Health Coaching is NOT counseling.  We are not medical professionals (MDs, RDs, CPTs etc.) and we are not Dietitians or Psychiatrists.  We do not diagnose or prescribe nutrition, disease, or physical fitness.  We are students who are trained in motivational interviewing and work to help students uncover their own goals and motivation for change.  

Who can sign up to receive health coaching?

Any ISU student between the ages of 18-25 and within their first two years of study at ISU can receive health coaching.  Students who sign up will enroll in the Cyde Kicks study so that the results can be tracked and used to improve the program.  This is an IRB approved study.  All data and information collected is confidential.  For more information please contact Katy Southard at kjsouth@iastate.edu 

Contact Katy Southard for questions about health coaching (or about the study) at kjsouth@iastate.edu.”

How long are the sessions?

Motivational Interviewing sessions typically range anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour. The first conversation will take the longest, and can last up to 1 hour. Following conversations are usually shorter, averaging 20-30 minutes.

Where are the sessions located?

Sessions are located in a mutually agreed upon location between the health coach and health coachee. We recommend a quiet public location on campus, such as a room in the library or a small coffee shop.

How often will I meet with a health coach, and for how many sessions?

Health coaching consists of 4 visits between the health coach and coachee. We recommend spacing the visits at least 1-2 weeks apart, therefore the time commitment usually lasts around 6 weeks in duration.

I have additional questions, who can I ask? 

If you have additional questions about enrolling in peer health coaching, email studentwellness@iastate.edu.