Graduation improvement plan and athlete retention

Southern Nazarene University football field. Photo by Kira Roberts

Kira Roberts, Layout Editor

A growing pattern that can be seen across the country also affects our own campus: many athletes who begin their university careers not only drop out of the athletic program before completing their four seasons of play, but also don’t finish their studies and leave with a degree from another university.

At the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) meeting that took place on Monday, April 15th, much discussion took place concerning possible changes to be made in order to increase the retention of student athletes at SNU.

According to Paul McGrady, along with the rest of the university, “The Athletic Department is in the process of developing a graduation rate plan and asked the SAAC, since it acts as the voice of the student-athlete, to give input in the process of developing a graduation rate improvement plan.”

As an example of a situation that has been under improvement, McGrady mentioned working with the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) and the Student Retention Committee to develop a student-athlete study session three times a week for individuals who are struggling in one or more classes.

“It is important to the NCAA that we continue to develop student-athletes and monitor their development academically and socially as well as athletically,” Martin said.

In compliance with the NCAA rules and regulations as well as the aspirations of the university to continually strive for a better student-athlete experience, a graduation rate improvement plan is being developed.  The hope is that the retention rate will rise over the next five years as the guidelines are put into place.