The CAAS IGA Experience
The Center for Athletic Academic Services (CAAS) at the University of Memphis has a strong, educational internship and graduate assistantship program. The program is designed to prepare individuals for a full-time position within athletic academic services. Each intern and GA has a cohort of student-athletes they monitor on a daily and/or weekly basis. The primary duties and responsibilities include intensive academic mentoring (monitoring attendance, obtaining grade updates, and ensuring productivity), and accurately updating grade reports and communicating to sport counselors. Throughout the academic year, the interns and GA's will also advise select student-athletes and assist with orientation, recruiting visits and team meetings. As one is exposed to the daily grind of the athletic academic services profession, one will be challenged with making decisions, meeting deadlines, and balancing multiple tasks. Additional opportunities include conducting initial eligibility evaluations, updating advising folders and degree audits and assisting with ACAD 1100 (Academic Strategies) and CAT (Cultivating Academic Tigers) – our summer bridge program.
For more information please contact Kristin Williams – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advertisements for the internship & graduate assistantship positions will be posted on the N4A listserv (typically early spring for the upcoming academic year).
Previous interns and GA's have gained full-time employment at the following institutions.
• University of Memphis
• Colorado State University
• Georgia Tech
• Indiana University
• University of Cincinnati
• University of Maryland
• Samford University
• Georgia State University
• Coastal Carolina University
• Eastern Illinois University
• Campbell University
• East Carolina University
• Kennesaw State University
"Working within the Center for Athletic Academic Services (CAAS) at the University of Memphis is an opportunity unlike many others. Interns and Graduate Assistants (IGA) will gain valuable experiences in student-athlete support that will directly translate into the responsibilities of a full-time position. The CAAS staff is comprised of a veteran staff who are energetic about sharing their experiences with the next generation of Athletic Academic professionals. You will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experiences in ALL aspects of the day-to-day responsibilities of the Athletic Academic Counselors, Learning Specialist, and Student-Athlete Development Coordinator. CAAS establishes a foundation for success through professional development opportunities, experience-based training exercises, and the opportunity to work with a diverse caseload of student-athletes. The CAAS experience will equip you with a new level of attention to detail, critical thinking, and creativity that is necessary to provide quality, well-rounded student-athlete support. My experience in CAAS was career shaping and I could not imagine starting in this profession anywhere else. Not only did I gain a number of valuable experiences while working in CAAS, but I also gained many professional mentors and colleagues within the profession. Memphis CAAS fully prepared me to transition from a Graduate Assistant to an Athletic Academic Advisor/Learning Specialist, and I could not be more thankful to have worked with and learned from such an amazing staff."
Fresno State University
"My experience within CAAS gave me the opportunity to gain experience in a very unique way. Working with Olympic sports and revenue sports, I was able to see the many differences and similarities as well as learn strategies to work with both styles. Learning all of the NCAA requirements and guidelines has helped me within my first job being able to play a large role in our certification processes. Gaining experience as a mentor really helps you understand and appreciate all of the work the people around your office are doing, so you can understand not every coordinator or sport is the same. Being able to bring ideas from CAAS to Miami has made the transition very smooth because you might not always get training from the school you go to, but CAAS does an excellent job training IGA to be prepared for their first job and beyond."
"The CAAS internship program really prepared me for a full-time position in Athletic Academic Counseling. I took a position at a Division I Athletic department right after my internship/grad assistantship and it was amazing how much I knew that I didn't realize I had learned. When I arrived, I was challenged to re-vamp our department. Fast forward 6 years and I am the assistant athletic director for academic services. I would not have been able to be where I am today without the knowledge and strategies that I learned at the University of Memphis within the Center for Athletic Academic Services."
"As a graduate assistant in CAAS, I had the opportunity to collaborate with and observe seasoned athletic academic professionals in the field. Through working with counselors with various sports, both revenue and non-revenue, I was able to really understand the challenges that various student-athletes (from all backgrounds) and counselors face on a daily basis. CAAS provided me the opportunity to work directly with student-athletes, attend coaches/administrative meetings, and also be immersed in the everyday operation of a successful athletic academic department. Not only was I introduced to professionals in various departments within athletics, I also had the opportunity to meet and work with various campus constituents, for example the campus Academic Advising Network. It is because of CAAS that I was thoroughly prepared for my first full time position and advanced quickly in this profession. Though you will be both challenged and pushed out of your comfort zone, expect to be adequately prepared for a career in this profession."
University of Memphis
"The Athletic Academic Services Internship at the University of Memphis was one of the most invaluable opportunities for personal and professional growth I had within my career journey. The access to robust experiences within athletic academic support and student-athlete development allows young professionals a platform in which to prepare for the job search, full time employment, and cultivating a supportive professional network of mentors within the CAAS staff. Through my experience I gained a deeper insight into my own values, boundaries, abilities, and friendships within the profession that I can lean on through adversity and times of accomplishment. The University of Memphis internship experience creates a legacy of quality practitioners connected throughout the nation, across sport, and division."
Colorado State University
"My experience in CAAS was one that I will never forget! The internship gave me a great amount of knowledge about working with many different student-athletes on several teams and from different backgrounds. A few things I found beneficial were that everyone was willing to help if needed, and no matter the situation, there's always a way to handle it. Advising and doing what's best for the student-athlete was most important at the end of the day. Personally, I also enjoyed working with the Jess (learning specialist) and learning more in depth about student-athletes with learning disabilities and what learning specialists do with accommodations and one on one sessions, etc. I also enjoyed going to coaches meetings and leading recruit visits which prepared me for my full time job.....If I could do everything over I'd still come to The University of Memphis."
"I am very grateful that I was a part of the CAAS family as an IGA intern. Working in CAAS gave me opportunities to work with a variety of different teams and student-athletes, assisted me in building my professional network, and helped me to truly see what it would be like to work full-time in athletic academic services. I feel that the greatest benefit to working in CAAS as an intern is that it significantly reduced my learning curve once I entered a full-time position as an Athletic Academic Coordinator. Learning the ins and outs of NCAA Eligibility rules, helping student-athletes develop study habits based on their individual learning styles, and leading recruiting and advising meetings are all experiences that CAAS was able to provide to me that have made the transition into my new role that much easier."
Northwestern State University
"CAAS gave me the tools that I needed to succeed in the industry. I tried to learn as much as I could within the time that I was there and worked with some challenging students along the way. Memphis has a reputation within the industry and has given me instant credibility with some of our football coaches at Utah State. I wish I would have done more initial eligibility evaluations as it is a significant part of what I do. There were plenty of opportunities to do evaluations, however I did not take full advantage. Working with the different counselors at Memphis gave me several perspectives regarding best practices and I use a lot of what I learned from them. I also appreciated counselors pushing me and making me better at what I do. I now have a better understanding for why they demanded excellence from us. One thing I am sort of learning along the way is how to balance coach's needs and wants. At Memphis, I did not have much experience directly working with coaches. IGA training on this topic was beneficial but it is something that you have to learn by actually doing it. Other than that, Memphis gave me everything that I needed to succeed in athletic academics, and I sincerely mean it when I say it was the best decision that I made for my professional development! GTG!"
Utah State University
"Your time at CAAS will be instrumental to your ability to succeed in this profession. As a department they have developed and perfected a system that works, but more importantly as a staff, they care. They care about the student-athletes and their growth, they care about the University, and they care about you. Understand that while you are here expectations will be high and you will be challenged every single day, but it will prepare you for what comes next. Not only in regards to day-to-day operations, but in areas of professional growth as well. This internship lays the foundation for you to serve student-athletes in higher education, but you will also form relationships that last a lifetime, and you will fall in love with Bluff City. Accepting an internship position in CAAS was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I would do it again."
2019-2020 (from left to right)
Back Row: Jennifer "JJ" Johnson, Lauren Lesser,
Dani Hippe, Marcus Sorensen, Sarijana Clark
Front Row: Jenna Smith, Morgan Gallagher,
Meaghan Hau, Orianna Shillow