She also talked about Bounce Back, an optional program for all students struggling academically. Originally started at the University of California at San Diego, this curriculum is used across the country to help students to return to good academic standing.
“It’s 50-percent group therapy and 50-percent academic skills development,” Demetriou said.
She said after participating in this program, 60 to 70 percent of students returned to good academic standing.
But getting student-athletes involved in this program has been complicated, she said.
Demetriou said the success of the program thus far has been based on the mentorship of an outside influence, the use of separate location, and diverse student groups.
The Bounce Back courses often take place in the afternoon making it difficult for it to be included into athletes' schedules between classes and practices.
Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham said it would be better for Bounce Back to take place in a different location, specific to the program.
“When you are trying to change a behavior, you take the person out of their environment. It’s what you do whether its academic performance or drug rehab,” Cunningham said.
Andrew Perrin, a sociology professor and member of the working group, echoed the importance of encouraging interactions between different groups of students.
“It is important not to segregate student-athletes from the rest of the student population,” Perrin said.
The working group revisited the issue of class checking as a way to deter student-athletes from missing classes. As it exists now, class checking is implemented at the discretion of individual coaches.
However, Michelle Ikoma, a member of the UNC gymnastics team and former co-president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), said the issue of missing class is not unique to the student-athlete population.
“I have worked frequently with students that brag that they went to the midterm, final and that was it,” Ikoma said.
Jim Johnson, a professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School and a member of the working group, said going to class is simply a part of what students agree to when they come to UNC.
“It should be a core value and expectation of everyone that walks through the door. That is the Carolina way,” Johnson said.
Anna Agbe-Davies, an anthropology professor and a member of the working group, said there could be ramifications for the implementation of class checking in general.
“(With class checking) the motivation to go to class is not internally driven,” Agbe-Davies said.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Jim Dean reiterated this idea, identifying the issue the working group will face with regard to class checking in future meetings.
“We want everyone to do the right thing but we want them to do the right thing on their own,” Dean said.
"There’s a dilemma there."
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