A comparative study of the student-athlete academic support programs at the schools in the Mid-American Conference

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Lambertson, Amy Jane
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Thesis (M.A.)
School of Physical Education
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Every academic institution has a population of academically underprepared students. A targeted population of these underprepared students are intercollegiate student-athletes. Student-athletes face added challenges that traditional students do not. In response to these challenges, colleges across the United States have begun to create programs that assist the academic needs of student-athletes. There is a need of descriptive and comparative research that reveals the appropriate services that advance the academic success of student-athletes. The purpose of this study was to compare the student-athlete academic support programs at the schools in the Mid-American Conference. This study also examined how these programs correlate to the graduation rates of the student-athletes attending the participating schools. Eleven directors of the student-athlete academic support programs from the Mid-American Conference were used as the subjects in this study. A questionnaire and cover letter was generated to obtain descriptive information about the student-athlete academic support programs. The directors of the programs received the cover letter and questionnaire. These subjects were asked to respond to the questionnaire based on their experience with the academic support program. The questions used in this study were determined through readings in similar areas of research. The questionnaire consisted of both open and closed ended questions. The design of this study allowed for a comparative analysis of the individual student-athlete academic support programs. A school by school comparison differentiated the organizational structure of each program. The results of this study will be useful to any academic institution that is looking to advance the academic and athletic achievement of its student-athletes. This research could also be used by the NCAA, the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletes or other organizations seeking this information. The results of this study will provide further insight on how to run a more comprehensive student-athlete academic support program.