The effectiveness of academic services for Division III student-athletes
Prior to 1999, most research on academic advising for athletes has focused on public, large scale, revenue-generating sports programs (Richard & Aries, 1999). Few studies have looked at small private Division III institutions where athletes are kept in harmony with the educational purposes of the institution and where student-athletes are more representative of the student body as a whole (Richards & Aries, 1999). Therefore, the objective of this study is to analyze the effectiveness of the current academic support services program on student-athlete academic and athletic success at a Division III liberal arts university in New England. ^ In this study, the researcher examined two groups of student athletes from twenty varsity programs offered at a mid-size, Division III liberal arts university located in the Northeast. The two groups of athletes examined represent both recruited and non-recruited athletes. A recruited athlete is one who the coach actively identifies and pursues, with the feeling that they will be a good fit for the University academically, socially and athletically. A non-recruited athlete is a student-athlete who chooses to come to the school without knowledge or pursuit by a coach, they try out for a team and (for this study) actually becomes part of the team. From the sample collected the researcher used Datatel, the university's student information system, to obtain all student-athlete GPA's, academic eligibility, and graduation rate at the end of each semester. The researcher also analyzed data from each team to determine which academic support services were utilized and why they were utilized. The GPA's and support services utilized allowed the researcher to analyze the overall effectiveness of the academic support services program. ^ When looking at the data from the University in this study it shows that of the twenty teams analyzed, sixteen saw an increase in their average GPA's over a two-year period. Seven of the nine teams that had at least half of their athletes utilize some combination of the academic services increased their average GPA by more than .30, while only three of the teams who had less than half of their athletes utilized some combination of the four services offered realized at least a .30 increase. Conversely, eight of the eleven teams who had less than half of their athletes utilize some combination of the four academic services increased their GPA by .30 or less, while three of these teams increased by .30 or more. ^ The research shows that several student athletes were impacted by academic services beyond just improving their GPA's. Some athletes, who were deemed academically ineligible, regained their eligibility which allowed further athletic participation. Priority registration allowed for the majority of athletes to be at practices that in effect enhanced team performance. Of the athletes analyzed in this study, those who participated beyond two years have remained on track to graduate with their incoming class.^
Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Higher
"The effectiveness of academic services for Division III student-athletes"
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