Being a Student Athlete and How It Affects Their Academic Standing

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The article “The Influence of Climate on the Academic and Athletic Success of Student-Athletes: Results from a Multi-Institutional National Study.”  discussed how the college climate can affect a student-athlete success. The author analyzes negative and positive college climates to see how that can take an extra toll on the athletes. It also leads to a lack of support for them. This is interesting for us to research because we can look into how having tools and support from the school can help with the athlete’s academic success.

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In the last 20 years, a unique but limited body of literature has surfaced focusing specifically on how student affairs professionals can assist student-athletes with critical transitional periods, specifically preparation for career fields. Considering Astin and Kuh’s theoretical discussion on student engagement, this article discusses the need to consider a more holistic model across NCAA divisions to guide campus-level student-athlete development programs. The authors synthesize findings from the literature on the unique elements of the student-athlete experience, which provide recommendations for NCAA student-athlete development policy. Finally, the authors provide implications for how campus-level student affairs practitioners who work with student-athletes can work to enhance campus and civic engagement, as well as prepare these individuals for life after college.

In order to inquire some answers to Megan Burr and Safiya Jilo’s student athletes and academic success research, the researchers conducted a survey with 24 questions and held a few interviews. The survey involved different topics such as GPA, study habits, social life, sleep schedule, and other weekly schedule things. After the survey was completed we compared the results and found some intriguing trends. The interviews used similar questions but allowed for more anecdotal answers that helped us put faces and stories to the research. We also interviewed a student-athlete that attends a community college in order to widen the data and research possibilities. As a result, 75% of survey participants reported not being stressed often, which contradicted our hypothesized idea that their rigorous schedule would affect their stress levels. However, in the survey many still expressed that finding time to study was an issue, most said they tried to find time in between classes due to not having time later in the day because of practice. After reviewing the survey results it was clear that our research might not reach a definite conclusion.

Going through the data made it clear that the researchers came into this research thinking that it was a black and white issue, either being a student athlete in your first year had a negative effect on academic success or didn’t; in reality the amount of variables lead to the results being varied. Factors that go into this variation are numerous, including the students study habits, amount of practices, school environment, class level, etc. Everyone’s experiences were different, with a mix of both positive and negative effects on their academics.

As a conclusion to the study, being a first-year student-athlete can affect a person’s academic success in a positive or negative way depending on the individual’s academic schedule, school, and level of sports commitment. Most people have a common link of having good resources for figuring out their busy schedule.

Even though the researchers didn’t get that many volunteers to take the survey, they had a general idea of how first-year student-athletes are provided in WWU. The student-athletes get advantages like 2 weeks early advances when registering for classes, are provided with unlimited lunch.

Previous researchers found it interesting to consider the ways in which being a student athlete was beneficial towards someone’s academic success. Most teams have a built in policy of putting academics above sports. Many of these policies include rules that if a certain GPA is not met then the athlete is not allowed to play. Researchers also think that it is a heavy incentive for some of these athletes and instead of putting pressure on them it actually motivates them to do better. 

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