The Counselling Centre

Academic & Life Skills Coaching

Let us help with your Academic Success!

We have a variety of services and resources to meet your academic needs as a student. These include individual Academic & Life skills Coaching sessions, a four-part video series to build university-level academic skills, and online modules through Brightspace, including one on Addressing Academic Anxiety .  All of these resources are designed to help you improve your academic performance and keep your stress levels at a manageable level and are free for all Saint Mary’s students!


1. Academic & Life Skills Coaching Appointments

Our Intake & Programs Coordinator meets one-on-one with students to discuss academic concerns. You will have the opportunity to outline your current approach to academics and discuss areas in which you would like to build new skills or resolve issues.

  • When you arrive for your appointment, you will fill out an intake form, which will take approximately 5-10 minutes (so come a bit early).
  • You will be asked to outline your current academic concerns. Based on this discussion, suggestions or referrals may be made.
  • If your concerns revolve more around building or improving academic skills, the resources listed below are likely to be most helpful.

To register for an Academic Coaching Session use the form below or call or email us.

Book An Appointment Button

(P) 902-420-5615



2. Academic Skills Building Video Series

The Counselling Centre has created a series of comprehensive videos on the following topics:

  • Notetaking (discover reasons why notetaking is important, how to prepare before class so you know what to write down, the effectiveness of using the Cornell Notetaking System, and Cues & Clues about what to include in notes)
  • Presentation Skills (learn tips for each part of the process: Planning, Preparing, Practicing & Presenting, as well as ways to overcome nervousness and anxiety before and during a presentation)
  • Exam Preparation (learn strategies on how to effectively plan and prepare for exams from Day 1 of classes, as well as tips on how to successfully write essay, multiple choice, short answer and true & false tests and exams)
  • Time Management (discover how to balance school, work, and social life by planning and prioritizing using an agenda and other tools, as well as saving time by learning an effective active reading system)

Looking to work toward overcoming procrastination or perfectionism? These workbooks will be helpful.

Please click below to access the video series:

We also have several academic skill development written resources. See below for strategies on a variety of topics:

3. The Mental Health Advocates Program

This program is offered through Brightspace and contains modules designed to help you learn how to manage stress and keep it from interfering in your academic performance. Four that are particularly helpful in managing stress include:

  • Creating Balance in a Non-stop World (including self-care and time management)
  • Emotional Resilience (bouncing back after difficult situations)
  • Mindfulness (a key component in managing stress by tuning into your “here & now experience”)
  • Stress and Mental Health (tips and strategies to keep stress manageable).

To Register:

  • Log on to Brightspace (
  • On the main page, click drop down tab titled Restricted Courses
  • Click Self-Registration - a table will appear
    • Within the table, click the name of the course (Mental Health Advocates)
    • On the Course Offering Description, click Register
    • Fill out the Registration Form and click Submit
    • Click Finish
    • Click Done
  • An email will be sent to the student confirming their enrollment in the course.

Keep in Mind

The Counselling Centre does not provide advice on career planning, class selection, or employment.

See below for specialized services at Saint Mary's to help you in these areas of career planning, choosing a major and course selection:

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Environmental Studies:‌‌ / 902-420-5437 / McNally Main 214B

Science Advising Centre: / 902-420-5261 / Atrium 310

Sobey School of Business: / 902-491-6532 / Sobey Building 252

Diploma in Engineering: / 902-420-5695