The Occupational Socialization of Athletic Administrators: A Content Analysis of Graduate Program Websites
AbstractEmploying occupational socialization as an interpretive framework, this study drew on a content analysis of athletic administration graduate program websites to explore the relationship between the programs and key issues facing professionals in the field of intercollegiate athletics. Results revealed that the processes and mechanisms in place to prepare graduate students for careers in intercollegiate athletics appear to be adequate, but could more comprehensively address the increasingly complex business enterprise of college sports, NCAA policies and rules, and key strategies to develop the academic talents of athletes. Formal processes, such as courses and experiential learning activities (e.g., internships, practica, field research) in the studied graduate programs, appeared to dominate role learning; informal processes or unintentional learning, such as interactions with peers and other campus stakeholders, appeared to be absent. This study highlights new directions for future work aimed at understanding the professional preparation of athletic administrators.
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