Can a Life Coach Teach at the College Level?

Life coaching is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country.  For those unfamiliar, a life coach helps people make life decisions, prioritize timelines, and set goals.  Life coaches don’t act as therapists, rather, they strictly focus on the future and helping people achieve a sought-after goal.

People are often surprised to learn that no formal education requirements are needed to become a life coach.  Any person who wants to be a life coach can do it, regardless of education or background.  To be effective however, most people choose to take a life coach training program and gain some form of certification.

Many professionals teach the skill of life coaching.  In fact, the life coach education industry is already estimated to be over 100 million dollars annually.  With so much money at stake, it’s no wonder trainers want to teach this valuable skill.  More colleges are starting to offer life coaching training throughout the US.  For example, the Community College of Philadelphia offers a Life and Success Coaching certification, Community College of Allegheny County offers the Certified Professional Life Coach program, and Montgomery College offers a Coaching Certification Program.

life coach in meeting

Since there are no formal education requirements for life coaches, the question often arises on how to become an instructor.  Especially at the college level.  The short answer is yes, you can teach at the college level as a life coach or mentor.  To do that however, you need to understand the following:

Can you teach life coaching at the college level?

You’ll either be classified as a professor (employed by the college) or an adjunct professor to teach at the college level.  Adjunct professors are hired on a course-by-course contract.  They are not technically employees of the college but are thought of as 3rd party contractors in most cases.  From a student perspective, there isn’t really much difference.  Both types of professors are there to teach students and help them learn.  Adjunct professors may teach a singular skill or profession that isn’t large enough to grant a degree.

This is the case with most life coaching, therefore most people hired to teach life coaching at the college level will be adjunct professors.  To teach as an adjunct professor, most colleges have minimum requirements.  Some examples include:

  • Master’s degree or an appropriate professional degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum of two (2) years of teaching experience
  • Certification in the skill you’ll be teaching

Your degree doesn’t need to be in life coaching since those college degrees don’t really exist yet.  Many degrees such as an MBA, Masters in Teaching, or a Masters in Social Work all make excellent degree options.

How do you apply for a Life Coach position at a college?

If the position exists, you can usually apply directly on the college’s website.  However, you might find that the position doesn’t exist yet at many colleges.  In this case, the best option is to draft a formal teaching offer and submit it to the college for consideration.  When it comes to specialty, non-credit programs, it’s quite common for the instructor to contact the college directly and give a formal presentation.  The college will want to know what value the program will bring to the student, the costs and profit margins, and what type of career prospects the students can expect.  Make sure your presentation covers these topics.