Concordia University Wisconsin continues to innovate and diversify its portfolio of mental and emotional health offerings for its students in an effort to meet the highest standard of practice in alignment with Concordia’s mission.

This fall, the university launched a life coach pilot program for students that is being funded by Concordia’s Student Life Office. Currently enrolled students now have access to a slate of certified life coaches free of charge. Concordia is the only university in the state to include coaching among its repertoire of services for students.

The coaching model is not specifically designed for individuals that need mental health counseling; students continue to have access to licensed counselors through CUW’s Counseling Center. Instead, life coaches are a type of wellness professional who helps individuals make progress in their lives through strategies such as goal setting, accountability, and confronting cognitive distortions.

“We recognize that we have a broad spectrum of students that we serve at Concordia in terms of their cultural backgrounds, belief systems, and wellness needs,” says Professor Tracy Tuffey, psychology chair and one of Concordia’s life coaches. “The goal is to expand the options they have in front of them so that they can find encouragement, support, and help.”

What to expect

Students can request a life coach by contacting Concordia’s Student Wellness Intake/Triage Coordinator Rebecca Hasbani or by stopping by Albrecht 115. Appointments are recommended, but not required. A life coach will then reach out to set up an initial meeting with the student to discuss his or her emotional, intellectual, or vocational training goals.

The coach and the student together will determine the frequency of their meetings but, in general, students could expect to check in about once every other week with a coach.

There is no obligation to meet long-term with a life coach. Some students could benefit from a one-time connect, for example, says Concordia Social Work and Child Life Chair Dr. Charnetta Gadling-Cole, who also serves as a life coach.

Meet Concordia’s life coaches

All of the Concordia faculty and staff members below have completed life coach certificate training through Positivity, an app-based therapy, support, and coaching service that was founded by Dr. Daniel Upchurch, a professor and psychologist with more than 15 years of experience working in mental health.

Concordia’s coaches include:

Kari Metts, MSEd (Life Coach Coordinator)

Veteran Outreach Coordinator







Tracy Tuffey, MSW

Psychology Department Chair







Sarah Collins, DSW, MSW

Master of Social Work Director







Kenneth Harris, PhD, MBA

Justice and Public Policy Department Chair/Assistant Dean







Charnetta Gadling-Cole, PhD, MSW

Social Work and Child Life Department Chair







Eugene Pitchford, MSEd

Black Student Union Advisor


Learn more

Visit to learn more about health and wellness opportunities for students.

—The content in this blog post reflect what was representative of the university at the time of its posting. For the most current information on employees, programs, and the like visit the corresponding or webpage.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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