LIZZ ALEXANDER, PHD
To put it simply, I am passionate about learning and student success. I love to learn (and conduct research to learn about learning!), and I love helping others to learn and pursue their goals. However, I am also keenly aware of the challenges associated with learning in an academic setting. Despite having a love for learning, I have encountered many of my own challenges while in school. Although giving up crossed my mind more than once, I persisted and am proud of what I have accomplished as result.
Throughout the years, I have had many positive experiences working with students, and it has brought me such happiness to be part of their academic journeys as they learn about themselves, develop their skills, and achieve their goals. I look forward to witnessing more student success as a learning coach and consultant. If I can contribute in any way to positive change for students, I will be thrilled!
I feel very fortunate to live in beautiful Victoria, BC with my husband and three children who keep me on my toes, make me laugh, and amaze and inspire me every day. I also acknowledge and thank the Lekwungen People for allowing me to live, work, and raise my family on their territory.
My Approach to Coaching
As a learning coach, I try to take an empathetic, compassionate, and non-judgmental approach. It is important my clients feel they are in a safe and accepting space, where they are free to be honest, share their struggles, and celebrate successes.
I typically let the student guide our work together. I may ask questions and offer suggestions to help move things forward, but it is ultimately up to the student to choose the focus of our sessions. With that being said, it is helpful for students to come to our sessions with some idea of what they would like to work on. From there, we can work together to set goals for the session, while also acknowledging those goals may change as we progress through the session.
While working with students, I draw heavily on my background researching self-regulated learning and my past experience teaching students in a learning-to-learn course. I encourage students to reflect on and gain insight from their past experiences as well as experiment with trying new strategies and modifying old strategies to discover what works and what doesn't work. My hope is the clients I work with will gain insight about their learning, enhance their confidence to navigate challenges, and develop lifelong skills that can be applied to their learning in school and beyond.
I am originally from Ontario, Canada, where I attended the University of Waterloo to initially complete a degree in accounting. During that time, I took courses in psychology, which I loved. Once I decided accounting was not the right path for me, I switched into psychology where I felt myself come alive. I was particularly drawn to courses in educational psychology, which led me to complete my Honours thesis comparing the characteristics of students with and without learning disabilities.
In 2008, I moved to the west coast of Canada to pursue my Masters and PhD in educational psychology at the University of Victoria. Under the mentorship of Dr. Allyson Hadwin, I researched self-regulated learning in university students, with a specific focus on emotion regulation in individuals and groups. I was also highly involved in research examining goal-setting in studying.
During my time at UVic, I gained experience and developed skills in a variety of roles:
as a student learning from my instructors, mentors, and peers;
as a researcher participating in and leading various research projects around learning and student success;
as an instructor teaching students about self-regulated learning;
as a learning strategist supporting students to pursue their learning goals;
and as a coordinator involved in administering a learning assistance program and training graduate student tutors and learning strategists.
The culmination of these experiences and my desire to make a difference have given me the confidence and motivation to embark on this entrepreneurial journey. I anticipate connecting with many amazing people, and I look forward to working with all the clients who invite me to be a part of their own learning journeys.