Over the past decade, there have been significant investments into buildings, human resources, and technology to enhance the academic performance of student-athletes. These investments have been essential to helping student-athletes achieve success in the classroom.
APR, GSR, and other key measurements have reached new heights over the past few years. It’s important to acknowledge the success and equally important to look back and review the structural investments athletic departments made into their resources – facilities, people, and technology- in order to support these student-athletes and enable this success.
The average population of student-athletes at a NCAA Division I campus is about 500 student-athletes. These athletes can typically be categorized as 20% “at risk,” 60% “average students,” and 20% “high achievers.”
Resources such as study table, tutoring, and learning specialists are available to every athlete. However, these resources are consumed on average mostly by the “at-risk” population of student-athletes — likely, 20% of the population. But what resources do the middle-of-the-pack students utilize? What do high achieving student-athletes find valuable?
Over the past 12 months, there has been a movement to more comprehensively develop an athlete, as an example, provide them with more career and mental health resources. As plans are developed to enhance an athletic department’s capability to deliver these services, it’s also important to understand the resources required to adequately meet these needs and then to evaluate that versus current resources.
“Athletic departments should be responsible for] ensuring that the academic studies of college athletes align with career ambitions, and engagement, [in addition to the] integration [of] life skills for student-athletes.”
2015 NCAA Division I Presidential Forum
We need to mind the gap.
Resources have been structured to assist an athlete academically and this approach has been successful related to academic performance measurements. But what’s in place to support the student-athlete comprehensively in their career endeavors? From a career standpoint, colleges are failing.
Academic resources are consumed largely by 20% of the student-athlete population while it is clear that 100% of the population needs career support.
How do you address that gap?
Can one career professional in the athletic department affect 100% of the student-athletes?
Can campus career services address the unique demands and experience of the athlete?
Can technology help gain efficiency and extend the reach to engage 100% of the athletes through 100% of their journey?
Game Plan believes the answer lies somewhere in the middle of these approaches.
The solution is a comprehensive look at the student-athlete’s journey and what it takes to be successful not only in the classroom, but also as an adult out in the real world. From finances to career to health and wellness, it all needs to be addressed, taught and measured for success of the student-athlete to be achieved. This is similar to how APR exists today.
The Game Plan platform automates the Athlete’s Journey – the very specific and unique set of experiences that collegiate student-athletes go through and are asking for more support around. It’s designed for stakeholders in the athletic department and career services to engage the athlete on the most critical skills and topics necessary for advancement and success in life after college athletics, and to help stakeholders track and measure those activities and metrics.
Game Plan drives efficiency. It reduces “platform fatigue.” It unifies the student-athlete experience by bringing the athlete, the athletic department, campus, and employers together for the benefit of all.