Academic Success: Perceptions of Student-Athletes, Learning Specialists, and Academic Advisors


  • Lauren Kirby Baylor University
  • Patricia Amason University of Arkansas--Fayetteville



Academic Success, Student-Athletes, Learning Specialists, Academic Advisors


The current study explores how academic success is defined and perceived by student-athletes and athletic academic support staff professionals, specifically learning specialists and academic advisors. Using qualitative methods, one-on-one interviews were conducted with participants from six “Power 5” programs to establish overarching themes. Academic advisors identified academic achievement and personal development as academic success. Learning specialists identified academic success as maximizing individual potential. Student-athletes identified meeting grade-based standards and work ethic resulting in reaching personal goals as academic success for themselves. Student-athletes also perceived that their advisor would identify eligibility and effort as academic success, and that their learning specialist would view academic success as building academic skills and work ethic.

Author Biographies

Lauren Kirby, Baylor University

Director of Learning Support

Patricia Amason, University of Arkansas--Fayetteville

Associate Professor

Department of Communication


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