CareerWISE Academic Resilience Coach FAQs

General Questions

1. What is the CareerWISE Academic Resilience Coach?

CareerWISE is the anytime online Academic Resilience Coach designed specifically for Ph.D. students who identify as women in science, technology, engineering, and math programs. CareerWISE is an academic resilience training program—a free source of personal and professional support for surviving and thriving in STEM.

2. Why is it important that a resource like CareerWISE exists?

Women are making it through to PhD programs, but not all are making it out. Efforts to improve the climate for diverse women in doctoral programs are critical. But in addition to taking action to warm up chilly climates and make systemic changes, we also need to heighten personal resilience for managing the moment. The CareerWISE resource provides the coaching and support to help women succeed in their current environments and persist in STEM.

3. What topics are covered in the CareerWISE Coach?

The Coach is organized around a four-step problem-solving method that extends technical problem-solving to encompass personal and interpersonal issues arising during the graduate experience.  Navigating the Coach allows the user to consult information about common concerns that women face in STEM programs, engage in evidence-based training in specific problem-solving skills, draw on lessons and interactive practice opportunities to communicate more effectively in difficult situations, and listen to advice from accomplished women in science and engineering about their time in graduate school.

4. Why should users trust the CareerWISE Coach?

The CareerWISE Academic Resilience Coach was created by an interdisciplinary team of experts from fields including counseling psychology, engineering, computer science, the physical sciences, curriculum and instruction, educational technology, and theater with the generous support of the National Science Foundation. The content is current, significant, and relevant; scholarly references are provided for all content pieces. The effectiveness of the resource was demonstrated with nationwide randomized controlled trials. Details of these and other CareerWISE studies can be found under Publications and Presentations.

5. What's new for the CareerWISE Coach?

The CareerWISE Academic Resilience Coach has been newly redesigned and updated with the most important and current research to support the training program.  The Coach includes an innovative interpersonal communication curriculum. The expanded content provides in-depth training on communicating in the types of challenging situations that women in STEM fields encounter. Interactive simulations are a unique feature that allows users to make response selections in critical-incident scenarios. 

Who can benefit from the CareerWISE Coach?

1. Why is the CareerWISE Academic Resilience Coach designed specifically for women?

Women, especially women of color, are outnumbered in most STEM doctoral programs and therefore frequently face additional challenges beyond the usual stressors of graduate school. The CareerWISE Academic Resilience Coach is designed to help women understand themselves in interaction with the various contexts in which they work and apply problem-solving strategies that fit the situation.

2. Is this resource only useful for women?

The resources in the CareerWISE Coach should be particularly useful to women in science and engineering environments. Examples are drawn specifically from the situations that women report in science and engineering environments, but skills and content are applicable to everyone at various educational and career levels in varied circumstances.

3. Why does the CareerWISE Coach focus on doctoral students rather than focusing on problems earlier in the STEM pipeline?

Women in doctoral programs have already decided on STEM as a primary area of interest and have been competitive in gaining admission to these programs. Nonetheless, women still complete the programs at a lower rate than men. The CareerWISE Coach is customized for and supports talented women who are tempted to leave programs and STEM careers because of discouraging experiences. The aim of the CareerWISE Academic Resilience Coach is to support women in completing their degree programs and becoming role models for future generations of women in STEM.

Technical Questions

1. How much time does it take to use the CareerWISE Coach?

The CareerWISE Coach can be used for as little or as much time as you would like. It is designed so that you can browse the large variety of content at your leisure or quickly find content related to a specific topic. We hope you will bookmark the resource and come back to it again and again!

2. How do I access the Communication Simulations?

You can access the CareerWISE Coach communication practice simulations directly via the Try It Out page or, you can follow the Practice links on each of the pages associated with the following skill-building modules: Active Listening, Expressing Yourself, Receiving and Responding to Feedback.

3. How should I cite this resource?

Recommended Bibliographic Citation:

“Title of Module,” CareerWISE Academic Resilience Coach. Arizona State University. Retrieved from on [date]. Recommended In-text Citation: CareerWISE (2021)

4. How can I get more Information?

Please feel free to contact us with questions or comments here.