Tuesday, April 29, 2014

U of M Receives $10,000 NCAA Grant For Student-Athlete Program

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 1:31 PM

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It's no guarantee that student-athletes will go to the pros after graduating from college.

For athletes at the University of Memphis who don't make it to the big leagues upon graduation, chances of securing a decent job may now be greater thanks to a $10,000 NCAA grant recently awarded to the school. The grant will be used to develop a career readiness program.

The U of M was one of six universities selected out of a pool of nearly 140 applicants to create a program that helps more of its student-athletes obtain employment once their college career is over. The grant is a part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) 2014 Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program.

Due to demanding schedules, student-athletes may be at a disadvantage in developing experiential learning opportunities, according to a U of M press release. Students are required to attend numerous practice and conditioning sessions, team meetings, and travel regularly to away games; all of these factors cause them to miss classes, limits their study time, and reduces their chances for securing internships.

With the grant, a U of M research team has created a four-stage program for student-athletes that includes entrepreneurship training, project-based learning, workplace readiness training, and a practicum with a community partner, according to the press release. The research team plans to develop and pilot the program this summer.

The $10,000 grant was awarded to a U of M collective comprised of Dr. Tim Ryan, associate professor of sport and leisure management in the Department of Health and Sport Sciences; Bob Baker, director of the Center for Athletic Academic Services; Kelly Penwell, director of the Experiential Learning Lab; and Dr. Richard Irwin, associate dean of the University College and overseer of the Experiential Learning Lab.

To measure effectiveness of the U of M’s program, participants’ career readiness will be measured before and after program participation, according to a U of M press release.

Aside from the U of M, researchers at The University of Michigan, Stanford University, Springfield College, Utah State, and Purdue University. Each entity will conduct a different form of research with their grants. Other aspects include the study of parental involvement in athletes’ collegiate careers, improving student-athlete mental health, athlete imagery, and support groups for injured athletes.

Grant recipients will present their research at the NCAA convention in Washington, D.C., in January 2015.

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