Ndidi Yaucher has a doctorate in pharmacy, and her husband, Brian Yaucher, is a registered nurse. Soon they’ll embark on an entirely new adventure together: a business in life coaching.
It started when the couple decided that Brian should stay home to take care of their kids. He still wanted a career where he could help people, but he needed a more flexible schedule. That’s when he discovered the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Professional Life Coaching Certificate.
“Ndidi found an article that featured Darcy Luoma on careers in life coaching,” Brian says. “After reading the article, I was very excited to attend the class at UW-Madison, knowing that Darcy and Shawn Preuss, highly respected coaches in our area, would be the instructors. This was a great opportunity to reach out and help others while I stayed at home to attend my children’s school functions and coach their sports activities.”
The article touched Ndidi Yaucher, too. She decided to earn the Professional Life Coaching Certificate herself, the year after Brian did.
“I have always had an interest in personal development,” Ndidi says, “and over time became aware of life coaching as a profession that teaches skills to help bring out the best in others.”
Participants in UW-Madison’s Professional Life Coaching Certificate program work toward professional credentialing as a life coach. Through a nine-month series of face-to-face classes and teleconferences, they learn to help people reach their potential and change their lives. Participants include those seeking to become a professional coach, as well as practicing coaches who want to improve their skills. The 2015-16 program runs September through May.
Along with the certificate program, UW-Madison offers new individual courses for those who want to learn more about life coaching or to keep their certification skills current. Courses for March and April 2015 include “Improving Communication and Enhancing Relationships One Conversation at a Time” and “How to Ask Powerful Questions That Deliver Phenomenal Results.” See here for more information.
Brian Yaucher graduated from the Professional Life Coaching Certificate program last year, and Ndidi will graduate this spring. They plan to start their Madison-based coaching business by the end of 2015, with Brian focusing on families and Ndidi on businesses.
“Coaching provides an environment for clients to gain clarity on what they value and really want out of life,” Ndidi says. “For clients struggling to find answers, a coach can help work through obstacles. A coach is there to empower the client and to hold them accountable to get the results they desire.”
Learn, grow, stretch
The Yauchers appreciate the fact that the Professional Life Coaching Certificate is accredited by the International Coach Federation, the accrediting body for life coaching. It’s also the only program of its kind in the Midwest in a higher education setting. The program is unique in offering a cohort model, which students go through together and gain a sense of community.
“I like the blended classroom format, which provides schedule flexibility,” Ndidi says. “This was particularly important to me given my busy work travel schedule. I also enjoy the fact that the program incorporates different learning styles, with a blend of didactic lectures, team and group discussions, practice coaching sessions, engagement, and opportunities for constructive feedback. It provides an environment to learn, grow, and stretch oneself.”