New Academic Coach has 44 years of experience and a passion for helping students

Linda Freeman retired after spending more than 44 years in education working with special education kids and at-risk students. But then something happened…she saw an ad for a new Academic Coach position at Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE).

“The ad just called to me­—I really felt as if it were my dream job,” Linda says.

She was drawn to SHCOE because she felt the company was a leader in the field—Linda believes that online education has great potential for helping students who may have fallen through the cracks. “When I think back over the many years that I’ve been in education, I have known so many kids that you know are smart but their needs just are not being met in traditional education,” she explains.

As a coach at SHCOE, Linda is excited that she now has the chance to meet those needs and offer the type of support that students require.

“Everyone needs a cheerleader to keep them going and remind them why education is important,” Linda says. “I want to make sure that everyone is touched. I don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks.”

Her passion for helping people doesn’t stop at helping students achieve success. She also helps feed families in her community. Her family owns a small farm on which they grow fruits and vegetables that they donate to a “farm to family” program.

Not only does Linda compare being an Academic Coach to being a cheerleader, she also says it’s a little like being a parent and a lot like being a life coach. If students are worried about obstacles they may be facing, she reminds them of what motivated them to go back to school in the first place. She helps them think logically through any problems may that arise, such as scheduling issues or difficulties studying. “I try to guide them,” she explains. “I use strategies so they can figure things out on their own. They feel more accomplished that way.”

“I want students to realize their potential,” says Linda. “Many of them had negative experiences in school; I try to cheer them on and tell them they can do it.”