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

Authors

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

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15763/issn.2376-5267.2020.1.7.32-59

Keywords:

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

Abstract

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

References

Autry, S. L. (2010). Predicting student-athlete success: An analysis of graduation using precollege and college experience variables. Unpublished manuscript. Florida State University.

Baxter, L. A. (1991). Content analysis. In Montgomery, B. M. & Duck, S. (Eds.), Studying interpersonal interaction (pp. 239-254). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Beamon, K. (2008). "Used Goods": Former African American college student-athletes' perception of exploitation by Division I universities. The Journal of Negro Education, 77(4), 352-364. Retrieved from http://0-www.jstor.org.library.uark.edu/stable/25608704

Benson, K. F. (2000). Constructing academic inadequacy: African American athletes' stories of schooling. Journal of Higher Education, 71, (223-246).

Braxton, J. M. (2003). Student success. In S. R. Komives, Jr., & D. B. Woodard and Associates (Eds.), Student services: A handbook for the profession. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Brecht, A. A. (2014). A study of the factors that predict academic success and retention of student-athletes (Order No. 3580494). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1539559457). Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.library.uark.edu/docview/1539559457?accountid=8361

Butterworth, L. (2015). An exploration of the administrative influence of NCAA regulation: A case study of the changes in the "big football university" athletic academic support unit from 1991 – 2014. Unpublished manuscript

Butterworth, J., & Rich, J. (2013). Examining academic-athletic support and academic success of student sthletes. Honors Theses and Capstones. 98. http://scholars.unh.edu/honors/98

Conley, D. T. (2007). Redefining college readiness. Eugene, OR: Educational Policy Improvement Center.

Cooper, J. N., Davis, T. J., & Dougherty, S. (2017). Not so black and white: A multi-divisional exploratory analysis of male student-athletes' experiences at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) institutions. Sociology of Sport Journal, 34(1), 59-78. doi:10.1123/ssj.2016-0015

Dilley-Knoles, J., Burnett, J. S., & Peak, K. W. (2010). Making the grade: Academic success in today's athlete. The Sport Journal, 13(1).

Fauria, R. M., & Zellner, L. J. (2015). College students speak success. Journal of Adult Development, 22(2), 90-99.

Figler, S. (1987). Academic advising for athletes. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 11(1-2), 74-81.

Floyd, D. L. Toward mastery leadership: Strategies for student success. Summary report of a colloquium. Columbia, Md.: American College Testing Program, 1988.

Fountain, J. J., & Finley, P. S. (2011). Academic clustering: A longitudinal analysis of a division I football program. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 4, 24-41.

Getzel, E. E. (2008). Addressing the persistence and retention of students with disabilities in higher education: Incorporating key strategies and supports on campus. Exceptionality, 16(4), 207-219.

Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Aldine.

Goforth, M. (2016). Embrace the evolution: A historical perspective of the learning specialist position within the athletic academic support field. National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics. Westlake, OH.

Gragg, D., & Flowers, R. D. (2014). Factors that positively affect academic performance of African American football student athletes. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, 8(2), 77-98.

Grandy, J., Lough, N., Miller, C. (2016). Improving student-athlete academics success: Evaluation of learning support tools utilized by academic advisors for athletics. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, 10(3), 199-217. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19357397.2016.1258967

Gurney, G.S., Tan, D., & Winters, C. (2010). Specially admitted student-athletes: Their academic performance, persistence, and graduation from an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision university. International Journal of Sport Management, 11, 477-491.

Hanna, G. (2013). The benefit of academic advising for the academic success of college student-athletes (Order No. 1551262). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1498141316). Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.library.uark.edu/docview/1498141316?accountid=8361

Hardin, R., & Pate, J. R. (2013). Playbook vs. textbook: Examining academic transitioning of NCAA Division I-FBS football student-athletes. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, 7(3), 229-244.

Heinel, D. C. (2008). A comparative case study analysis of academically at risk African American male student athletes (Order No. 3325225). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304466556). Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.library.uark.edu/docview/304466556?accountid=8361

Hennink, M., Hutter, I. & Bailey, A. (2011). Qualitative research methods. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Hittle, S. (2012). Athletes’ tendencies to ‘cluster’ in certain academic fields problematic, some say. Retrieved from KUSports.com: http://www2.kusports.com/news/2012/jun/15/athletes-tendencies-cluster-certain- academic-field/

Horton, D. (2009). Class and cleats: Community college student athletes and academic success. New Directions for Community Colleges, pp. 15–27. doi:10.1002/cc.374

Hyatt, R. (2003). Barriers to persistence among African American intercollegiate athletes: A literature review of non-cognitive variables. College Student Journal, 37, 260–275.

Krippendorff, K. (1980). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

LaForge, L., & Hodge, J. (2011). NCAA academic performance metrics: Implications for institutional policy and practice. The Journal of Higher Education, 8(2), 217-235.

Lightfoot, D. (2014). Intercollegiate athletics: Student-athlete stress and support. Journal of Higher Education Management, 29, 30-38.

Logan, K. A. (2015). Student-athlete learning: how learning spaces influence athletic and academic success. Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1038. https://digitalcommons.du.edu/etd/1038

Mason, J. (2002). Qualitative researching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Meyer, S. K. (2005). NCAA academic reforms: Maintaining the balance between academics and athletics. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 85(3), 15-18. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.library.uark.edu/docview/235182442?accountid=8361

National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics. (2007). Learning specialist position and prevalence of special populations. Survey results Summer 2007. Available: nfoura.org/.../learning-concerns/2007-topics-survey-final-report.pdf

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Manual (2012). http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/D112.pdf

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)Academic Support Services Evaluation Guide (2009) http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/AMA/Athletics%20Cert/N4ANCAA%20Academic%20Support%20Services%20Eval%20Template%20JP-6-09.pdf

Nichols, M. L., Lough, N. L. & Corkill, A. J. (2019). Exploring success: Variations in Division I Student-athlete academic and athletic performance. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 12, 314-342. http://csri-jiia.org

Orcher, L. T. (2016). Conducting research: Social and behavioral science methods. Routledge.

Owen, W. F. (1984). Interpretive themes in relational communication. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 70, 274-287.

Patton, M. (2002). How to use qualitative methods in evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Pettit, N. D. (2013). An investigation into at-risk student-athletes’ experiences and academic performance: A case study at San Diego State University (Order No. 3624105). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1551526458). Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.library.uark.edu/docview/1551526458?accountid=8361

Rankin, S., Merson, D., Sorgen C. H., McHale, I., Loya, K., & Oseguera, L. (2011). Student athlete climate study (SACS) final report. Paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV. Retrieved from http://rankin-consulting.com/sites/default/files/documents/2011-Student-Athlete-Climate-StudyFinal-Report.pdf

Roueche, J. E., and Baker, G. A., III. (1987). Access and excellence: The open door college. Washington, D.C.: Community College Press.

Russell, R. K., & Petrie, T. A. (1992). Academic adjustment of college students: Assessment and counseling. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds.), Handbook of counseling psychology (pp. 485-511). Oxford, England: John Wiley & Sons.

Saldaña, J. (2016). Ethnotheatre: Research from page to stage. New York: Routledge.

Sedlacek, W. E. (1987). Black Students on White Campuses: 20 years of Research. Journal of College Student Personnel, (November), 484-494.

Steinberg, M. A., Walther, C., Herbst, M., West, J., Zamagias, D., & Smith, J. (2018). Learning specialists in college athletics: Who are they and what do they do? Journal of Higher Education Athletics & Innovation, 1, 77-118.

Stokowski, Sarah Elizabeth. (2013). "I know I can learn: The experiences of NCAA Division I – FBS student-athletes with learning disabilities and/or ADHD in higher education.” PhD diss., University of Tennessee. http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_graddiss/1780

Stokowski, S. E., Dittmore, S. W., & Stine, G. (2014). A framework for understanding which factors predict positive APR scores at NCAA Division I institutions. Presented at the North American Society for Sport Management conference, May 29-31, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Ting, S. R. (2009). Impact of noncognitive factors on first year academic performance and persistence of NCAA division I student athletes. The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development, 48(2), 215-228.

Tinto, V. (1997). Classrooms as communities: Exploring the educational character of student persistence. The Journal of Higher Education, 68(6), 599-623.

Tracey, T. J., & Sedlacek, W. E. (1985). The relationship of non-cognitive variables to academic success: A longitudinal comparison by race. Journal of College Student Personnel, 26(5), 405-410.

Van Etten, S., Pressley, M., McInerney, D. M., & Liem, A. D. (2008). College seniors' theory of their academic motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(4), 812-828.

Weiss, M. P. (2011). Supporting student athletes with disabilities: A case study. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 24(2), 161-163. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.library.uark.edu/docview/964179928?accountid=8361

White, B. (2008). The academic experiences of and utilization of services by college student-athletes deemed at-risk of not graduating (Order No. 1453718). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (194024654). Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.library.uark.edu/docview/194024654?accountid=8361

Wolverton, B. (2016). The hottest hire in athletics? Learning specialists. Chronicle of Higher Education, 62(25), A14.

Downloads

Published

2021-05-04

Issue

Section

Peer Review Articles