Process group reviews student-athlete schedules


Chris Derickson (center) outlines class registration during Monday's Student Athlete Academic Process Review meeting.

What happened?

The Student Athlete-Academic Process Review Group — a continuation to a working group tasked with changing academic policies concerning student-athletes after the academic-athletic scandal — met to discuss the sixth and seventh processes out of 21 the group is set to review.

These processes were changes and improvement to priority registration for student-athletes and the creation of a new website for the Academic Support Program for student-athletes, respectively. 

Who spoke?

Debbie Clarke, consultant to the working group, said they are working to create a one-credit hour course for entering student-athletes on the psychology of learning taught by Jeannie Loeb.

“...It’s looking very promising,” Clarke said. “We’re talking to the Department of Athletics about who qualifies for financial aid during the summer, who doesn’t, that has an impact as well.”

This past summer, Michelle Brown, assistant provost and director of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes, said her department held workshops on studying and coursework the weekend after incoming athletes started at UNC. She said an assessment of that programming will be done toward the end of the fall. 

“The full Saturday that we had them, we did a more conference style (workshop) where there were three different workshops going on at the same time, broke them down into groups and had them move from workshop to workshop,” Brown said.

“And those topics, they covered different ones from how to break down a writing prompt, introduction to the learning special staff that we have, some tips and strategies that they shared, communication skills…”

Once student-athletes get to campus, University Registrar Chris Derickson said he thought there was a disconnect between the classes they need and the classes the University offers. 

He said a new scheduling tool for students, College Scheduler, will help athletes balance their schedules and get the classes they need.

“It’s very clear based on the schedule that student-athletes keep ... that they have far fewer choices of classes in any given major,” he said.

Brown said her office uses a collaborative support model that involves multiple individuals meeting to assess the needs of a student-athlete. She said one resource is questionnaires that help her office pinpoint students who might struggle with learning disabilities. These students are then offered assessment by a professional.

“Really that is something we use to help us understand the academic background of the student and any area where they might feel, this is self-reported, they may have struggled with these classes and how they feel to give us some more information about them,” she said.

Why was this meeting important?

The review group will review all the processes over a two-year period. This group is part of the more than 70 reforms the university has put in place.

Provost Jim Dean said the reforms reviewed in the meeting are being implemented successfully.

When will they meet again?

The Student Athlete-Academic Process Review Group will convene again on Oct. 12.

Thanks for reading.

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