Critics caution intercollegiate athletic administrators and university officials that the goals and missions of intercollegiate athletics and higher education not aligned. These individuals feel there is a disconnect between the experience college student-athletes are having and the experience that we owe them as students of higher education. It is crucial that we truly understand the climate of academic and athletic integration at all types of colleges and universities, if we are to ensure that athletics and academics are traveling on the same path. The primary purpose of this study was to determine if student-athletes are truly integrated into the general student body at this NCAA Division III institution. Specifically, this project analyzed a variety of variables associated with students during the admission process, student life and campus experiences, and student success outcomes. By studying the relationship between student-athletes and non-student-athletes, this study provides a framework for analyzing academic and athletic integration on college campuses. This study analyzed 7,855 students over a four-year period at a private college located in the Midwest. The athletic sub-group was compared to the non-athlete sub-group on a variety of metrics and additional analysis was conducted by dividing male and female athletes and non-athletes, as well as sport specific queries. Although statistically significant differences were found between male and female athletes and their non-athlete counterparts, the findings did not have a large amount of practical significance. Overall, student-athletes at this institution were found to be integrated into the general student body and academic experience.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. August 2017. Major: Kinesiology. Advisor: JoAnn Buysee. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 158 pages.
An Examination of Academic and Athletic Integration: A Case Study of a NCAA Division III Institution.
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