Cyde Kicks: Peer Health Coaching FAQ

Sign Up/Enroll in Health Coaching FAQ  

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 Justin Lusk ( 

Contact Justin Lusk or questions about health coaching (or about the study) at

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 249 Forker Hall.  This is the Cyde Kick meeting room.  

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.


Become a Cyde Kick FAQ 

Are Peer Wellness Educators and Cyde Kicks (Peer Health Coaches) the same program? 

No.  Peer Wellness Educator program is different from Cyde Kicks (Peer Health Coaching).  For more information about Peer Wellness Educators, click here

Who can become a trained health coach?

Any ISU student that is of Junior or Senior status is able to sign up and enroll in the KIN 494X Practicum in Motivational Interviewing to become a trained health coach.

How will becoming a trained health coach benefit me?

Health coaching is a useful skill that has become a popular tool used in clinical and fitness settings. Becoming a trained health coach will strengthen your communication skills, as well as give you extensive background knowledge and experience for future internships, job interviews, and future careers. Health coaching is a practical skill that can be utilized in many professions such as physical therapy, personal training, cardiac rehabilitation, fitness centers, psychology fields, and worksite health promotion.

How much time can I expect to commit to the training course?

KIN 494X is a 2 credit practicum that is being offered in Fall and Spring semesters.  The course meets for 1 hour on Tuesday from 2:10-3:00pm. There is course work associated with the training outside of class as well as an expectation to practice motivational interviewing with friends and family members which typically creates an additional 1-2 hours per week. The training is devoted to the first 8 weeks of the semester with extensive practice during class between peers and instructors, and the second half of the semester is real practice in which students are then paired with health coachees to further refine their health coaching skills.  After completing the course, students can then become Cyde Kicks and get practicum credits and higher level leadership experience.  

What are my opportunities after I am trained in the course?

Once you are done with the course, you can become a Cyde Kick.  Cyde Kicks have different levels of leadership experience they can get as they continue with the program.  Students also get additional practicum credits when they stay on as Cyde Kicks.  

Become a Cyde Kick (1-2 semesters)

  • Work as a Cyde Kick and help other students grow in their health-related behavior change goals, such as increasing physical activity, eating healthy, managing time, and reducing stress
  • Become a Peer Mentor and support students currently training to become a Cyde Kick
  • Receive Student Wellness apparel, including a polo (etc whatever we decide on)

Become a Cyde Kick Teaching Assistant (1 semester)

  • Apply to be a Cyde Kick Teaching Assistant for KIN 494 A&B
  • Work with KIN 494 instructors to refine course activities
  • Lead in-class activities and facilitate class discussion

I have additional questions, who can I ask? 

If you have additional questions about enrolling in peer health coaching, email