What's so special about intercollegiate special admits? Implications for Academic Support Programming
Robenolt, Pamela Jo
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The purpose of this case study is to gain insight into the academic, athletic and social experiences of specially admitted student-athletes in order to better understand what contributes to their lower academic performance in high school but also to further understand what obstacles they experience during their college academic careers and, importantly, what protective factors contribute to some students persisting through to graduation. Participants (N=5) included Division I specially admitted scholarship football players who graduated within six years of entering a college in the Pacific Northwest. They were interviewed to get a better understanding of the factors that contributed to them being specially admitted, obstacles they faced academically and what they identified as promoting in persisting to graduation. It was found outside influences that impacted high school GPA and SAT scores more than ability therefore those scores should not solely be relied on for admission practices and NCAA initial eligibility standards. Obstacles to persistence included, sport schedule, overall football experience (including injuries, coaching changes and loss), focus on NFL as a career excluding other options, entering college with a lack of study skills and not understanding college expectation hindering transition to college. In addition, support outside of athletic, specialized academic support services and personal character traits and belief promoted academic success. Implications for student athlete support services were discussed with recommendations for specific programming.
- Education - Seattle