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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Preferred Name

Rachel Simon

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Department of Learning, Technology and Leadership Education

Advisor(s)

Diane Wilcox

Abstract

A study was conducted to examine the type of academic support provided to student-athletes at the Division 1 level. Although the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requires all academic institutions to provide academic advising services to student-athletes, universities have a great deal of autonomy in deciding how to provide these services. At the present, little research exists on how universities provide academic support to student-athletes. A mixed-methods online survey was sent to academic support staff members at 47 institutions affiliated with the American Athletic Conference (AAC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big South Conference, and the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). This survey aimed to better understand: 1) the demographics of academic support staff, 2) the challenges academic support staff face in promoting academic integrity, 3) the characteristics of the student-athletes they support, 4) the attitudes of faculty and staff they work alongside, and 5) how often incidences of academic fraud are reported to universities’ compliance departments. Results indicated that the majority of respondents felt that student-athletes were both academically prepared for higher education and committed to their academic pursuits. They also reported that faculty and staff view the work ethic of student-athletic favorably and are willing to provide assistance to student-athletes who may miss class due to athletic obligations. Not surprisingly, disparities exist by conference in the resources available for academic support and the satisfaction with these resources, and reported cases of academic fraud are relatively small (25%). Future research should focus on the student-athletes and/or faculty and staff at these same institutions to determine if these findings are consistent among all groups.

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