A Model to Enhance Overall Well-being, Mental Health Practice and Professional Development among Division III Student-Athletes as They Transition from Athlete to Professional


  • JoAnne Bullard Rowan University
  • Robert Bullard Rowan University
  • Dave Naphy Rowan University
  • Sean Hendricks Rowan University


student-athlete well-being, student-athlete professional development, student-athlete mental health, student-athlete transition


The goal of this project was to create an impactful program, entitled “PROF Academy”, to assist Division III college student-athletes as they transition into the professional environment by providing education on mental health and overall well-being concepts, such as mindfulness, stress management, anxiety reduction techniques and understanding depression. PROF Academy consisted of workshops and online modules addressing the above topics, as well as career development skills, focused on resume and cover letter writing, interviewing skills and networking. This innovative program was designed to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration among a Division III campus to holistically bolster the psychosocial well-being and mental health of student-athletes.


Bell, J., Prewitt, S., Bernhardt, V., & Culpepper, D. (2018). The relationship between athlete identity and career exploration and engagement in division II athletes. International Journal of Exercise Science, 11(5). http://search.proquest.com/docview/2112206000/

Born, J. (2017). National protection of student-athlete mental health: The case for federal regulation over the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Indiana Law Journal, 92(3), 1221-1245.

Chew, K., & Thompson, R. (2014). Mind, body and sport: Potential barriers to accessing mental health services.http://www.ncaa.org/health-and-safety/sport-science-institute/mind-body-and-sport-potential-barriers-accessing-mental-health-services

Comeaux, E., & Harrison, C. K. (2011). A conceptual model of academic success for student-athletes. Educational Research, 40(5), 235-245.

Davoren, A., & Hwang, S. (2014). Mind, body and sport: Depression and anxiety prevalence in student-athletes. http://www.ncaa.org/health-and-safety/sport-science-institute/mind-body-and-sport-depression-and-anxiety-prevalence-student-athletes

Hoover, D. R., Jr. (2012). A balancing act: Division III student-athletes time demands and life roles (Order No. 3514840). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1021917338).http://ezproxy.rowan.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1021917338?accountid=13605

Kroshus, E. (2015). Ask the expert: Transitioning from high school to college. http://www.ncaa.org/health-and-safety/sport-science-institute/ask-expert-transitioning- high-school-college

Kroshus, E. (2016). Variability in institutional screening practices related to collegiate student-athlete mental health. Journal of Athletic Training (Allen Press), 51(5), 389-397. https://doi-org.ezproxy.rowan.edu/10.4085/1062-60050-51.5.07

Lally, P., & Kerr, G. (2005). The career planning, athletic identity, and student role identity of intercollegiate student athletes. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 76(3), 275–285. https://doi.org/10.1080/02701367.2005.10599299

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) GOALS Study of the Student-Athlete Experience Initial Summary of Findings January 2016. (2016). http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/research/ncaa-goals-study

Ryan, H., Gayles, J. G., & Bell, L. (2018). Student-athletes and mental health experiences. New Directions for Student Services, 2018(163), 67-79. https://doi-org.ezproxy.rowan.edu/10.1002/ss.20271

Stroll, S. K. (1995). Moral reasoning of Division III and Division I athletes: Is there a difference? Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, Portland, Oregon.






Peer Review Articles