Advising student-athletes: Understanding job preparation, roles, and challenges of the athletic academic advisor

Authors: Aaron Vaughn, Jimmy Smith

Corresponding Author:
Aaron Vaughn
Gonzaga University
502 E. Boone Ave, AD Box 25
Spokane, WA. 99258
avaughn2@zagmail.gonzaga.edu
520-270-0480

Aaron Vaughn, Graduate Student, Master’s of Arts in Sport and Athletic Administration (MASAA), Gonzaga University

Dr. Jimmy Smith, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Sport and Physical education; Gonzaga University, smithj1@gonzaga.edu

Advising student-athletes: Understanding job preparation, roles, and challenges of the athletic academic advisor

Abstract
According to the NCAA, each athletic department must provide its student-athletes with academic support that aids them with the necessary resources to be successful in the classroom. While much of the research in intercollegiate athletics focuses on coaches, student-athletes, and athletic administrators, less is known about Athletic Academic Advisors who provide necessary support to the student-athlete for their success off the fields or courts. This research aimed to contribute to the broad intercollegiate athletic literature related to further understanding Athletic Academic Advisors, and sought to specifically understand their preparedness, job roles, and challenges. A survey was sent to 510 athletic academic advisors; 115 responded, yielding a 22.5% response rate. Results showed important factors on preparedness was the level and focus of their degree, previous experience working with student-athletes, having a written set of job roles, and having been mentored. The relevant challenges faced by this population were student-athletes’ lack of academic desire, NCAA eligibility rules, athletes encountering issues with stress, communication, attendance, and an overwhelming amount of job roles.
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