Amended version of Proposition 48 uses a holistic approach for determining eligibility for freshman; ideally this works for “student athletes with a reasonable chance to succeed academically” (Franklin, 2005, p. 16). The minimum standard of eligibility for freshman now requires completion of 16 core-curriculum high school courses rather than the 14 previously needed (Franklin, 2005).APRTwo points are awarded per semester for each student athlete that meets the academic eligibility standards and remains in good standing with the institution.The institution must maintain at least 50 percent graduation rate equating to a score of 925 in NCAA terms (Christy et al., 2008). If the institution fails to do so, loss of funds and scholarships will follow (Christy et al., 2008). Determination of sanctions and penalties are made through an analysis of the Graduation Success Rate (GSR), and the Academic Progress Rate (APR) (Franklin, 2005).
Prior research has shown the need for the NCAA and institutions to work together in promoting academic integrityThe research questions result from a theory that supports the construct of organizational engagement
Have student athletes benefitted academically from NCAA reforms? Theresa Wood PSY492 UA February 22, 2010
Abstract Growing concerns of academic deficiency and low graduation rates by student athletes, has lead to the development and implementation of a threefold academic reform initiative by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The three part reform included: (a) initial eligibility standards, (b) the Academic Progress Rate (APR), and (c) sanctions and fines. Prior research has shown the academic reform initiative to have a positive impact on academic success and graduation rates. On the other hand, studies have indicated that the academic reform has disproportionate effects on minority colleges. Further research is needed to identify discrepancies within the reform and to verify the direct correlation between academic reform and student athletes graduating.
Introduction Lack of academic success and low graduation rates among student athletes are a primary concern of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA is a voluntary organization consisting of institution, conference, and organization leaders who are “committed to the best interests, education and athletic participation of student athletes” (National Collegiate Athletic Association [NCAA], 2008, para. 1). Previously, several institutions were criticized for allowing student athletes who “essentially lacked the ability to read” to participate in intercollegiate athletic activities (Franklin, 2005, p. 16). As a result, the NCAA developed an academic reform initiative to ensure academic success for student athletes (Franklin, 2005).
Academic Reform Initiative The NCAA academic reform initiative is a threefold process which began in 1993.
Revision of Proposition 48 “Initial Eligibility Standard”
Original proposition use of standardized test scores was found to have a disparate effect on minority and low income student athletes (Franklin, 2005).
Academic Progress Rate (APR)
Applies to all enrolled student athletes attending colleges sanctioned by the NCAA and the academic progress that must be made term by term in order for a student athlete to remain eligible (Franklin, 2005).
Sanctions and fines
Athletic programs and institutions are held accountable for academic performance of student-athletes. Sanctions and penalties are assessed to those that do not adequately consider the academic needs and outcome of their student athletes (Franklin, 2005).
Analyze the implementation of the NCAA’s reform initiative
Determine the acceptance and willingness of institutions and coaches in following the academic reform
Achieve a better understanding of how institutions develop academic programs which produce the desired outcomes of the NCAA
Has academic integrity increased in institutions since the implementation of the NCAA academic reform?
How does the NCAA and institutions ensure the academic success of student athletes?
Life of a Student Athlete It has been said that if you want to get anywhere in life you have to work for it. So is the case of being a student athlete. Student athlete’s often find it difficult to divide their time between the classroom and the sport of choice. However, for some they would not be in a classroom if not for their athletic ability. Simon (2008) believes values held by student athletes build a foundation for moral and academic growth. Moreover, student athletes understand the value of teamwork, cultural diversity, dedication and commitment.
Life of a Student Athlete (cont.) Scott, Paskus, Miranda, Petr, & McArdle (2008) introduce the theory that student athletes achieve higher academic success during the playing season than they do out of season. The theory is based on “the structure that the playing season provides in helping student athletes organize their time and avoid nonacademic distractions” (Scott et al., 2008, p. 205). On the other hand, Morgan (2008) suggests values held by student athletes are often compromised by the demands of the coaching staffs, institutions and alumni’s focus on winning. Stinson and Howard (2008) confirm the theory in their research study of patterns in private giving. Preliminary analysis “indicates that successful athletic programs influence both the number of donors making gifts to an institution and the average dollar amount of those gifts…winning teams have direct effects on both athletic and academic gifts” (Stinson & Howard, 2008, p. 1).
NCAA reform and Institution’s Responsibilities A qualitative research study by Christy, Seiford, & Pastore (2008) which examined the viewpoint of college athletic program directors and head coaches from the six Bowl Championship Series (BCS) conferences, in all 75 questionnaires were analyzed. From this data, 48 out of 75 responses agreed that the APR reform had a positive impact on academic success (Christy et al., 2008). Prior to implementation of the new reform, less than half of the student athletes from 42 NCAA colleges participating in the 2005 NCAA basketball tournament graduated (Christy et al., 2008). Moreover, of the 64 college teams participating in the 2006 tournament, 38 colleges graduated 70 percent of white athletes versus 21 colleges graduating 70 percent of African American athletes (Christy et al., 2008).
NCAA reform and Institution’s Responsibilities (cont.) Subsequently, with the APR in place a college must maintain at least 50 percent graduation rate equating to a score of 925 in NCAA terms (Christy et al., 2008). If the institution fails to do so, loss of funds and scholarships will follow (Christy et al., 2008). Since the reform, Christy et al. (2008) indicates a 4 percent decrease in lost scholarships due to poor academic performance, within the first two years of the APR rule. Conversely, the APR has been found to have disproportionate effects on “historically black colleges and universities and mid-major schools from the non-Bowl Championship Series (BCS) schools” (Christy et al., 2008, p. 3). Similarly, the University of Western Michigan, lost two scholarships and an undisclosed amount of funding through the new APR reform at a time when the college “had a program best 2.81 grade point average and graduated most of its athletes” (Christy et al., 2008, p. 3).
NCAA reform and Institution’s Responsibilities (cont.) Through the academic reform, which holds institutions and coaches accountable for the academic success of the student athlete, stress of winning previously held by staff, institutions and alumni has been reduced. Furthermore, “the Basic Academic Skills Study (BASS), a multi-faceted scale designed for use by the NCAA measures interests, attitudes and academic skills of student athletes” (p. 319). Information obtained from the BASS provides a working model for student athlete engagement in educational activities that promote cognitive and affective outcomes (Gayles & Hu, 2009). Comparably, Umbach, Palmer, Kuh, & Hannah (2006) maintain students learn by becoming involved whether they are athletes or non-athletes. Therefore, interaction with peers, study groups, student-faculty interaction, and involvement in educational related activities lead to academic success regardless of athletic participation (Umbach et al., 2006).
Conclusion Prior research of the academic reform confirms a positive organizational engagement between the NCAA and institutions. Holding institutions and athletic programs accountable for the academic needs and outcome of student athletes has encouraged both groups to work toward a collective goal. However, little has been reported as to how the reform has been integrated into the educational programs offered by institutions. Therefore, further research is needed to examine the relationship between the NCAA and academic facilitators of the institutions with regard to the academic success of student athletes.
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