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Services Tailored for Student-Athletes
Athletic Academic Counselors in the Center for Athletic Academic Services serve student-athletes in a variety of capacities on a daily basis throughout the year. Athletic Academic Counselors work diligently to ensure that all student-athletes receive the assistance necessary to succeed in the classroom. The responsibilities of Athletic Academic Counselors include, but are not limited to:
Each semester, student-athletes meet with their assigned Athletic Academic Counselor to discuss major selection and degree completion as well as schedule courses for the upcoming semester. This process requires a partnership between the counselor and the student-athlete to ensure student-athletes continually make timely progress toward graduation.
Athletic Academic Counselors nominate student-athletes on their respective teams for a variety of academic awards, including those sponsored by The American Athletic Conference. In addition, the Center for Athletic Academic Services recognizes student-athletes on a monthly and semester basis for a variety of awards. For specific information on these awards, please see Academic Awards.
Through weekly, bi-weekly or daily meetings, Athletic Academic Counselors provide academic counseling to student-athletes. Academic counseling includes, but is not limited to, discussion of academic progress (including recent assignments, projects, and exams), upcoming academic work, evaluation of study skills, and preparedness for travel. Counselors also assist in helping new student-athletes make the transition from high school to college while adjusting to and handling the demands of a stressful academic and athletic schedule.
Athletic Academic Counselors serve as academic mentors for student-athletes regarding the development of academic skills necessary for classroom success. At times, trained upper class students and graduate students may also serve as academic mentors for specific student-athletes. Academic mentors provide general academic guidance for at-risk student-athletes and work primarily on a one-on-one basis.
Through various forms of communication with professors, including telephone calls, emails, and grade reports, Athletic Academic Counselors monitor the grades and academic progress of student-athletes on their respective teams.
All first-year students at the University of Memphis have the opportunity to take the course, ACAD 1100: Academic Strategies. Freshmen student-athletes take ACAD 1100 during their first semester at Memphis. The Director, Associate Director, and Athletic Academic Counselors teach sections of this course specifically for student-athletes. The course assists student-athletes in making the transition to college-level academics and learning about campus resources.
Athletic Academic Counselors assist student-athletes in preparing for future careers. Through academic advising, weekly meetings, general conversations, and our PAWS program, counselors help student-athletes match desired careers with majors and refer student-athletes to other campus resources such as Career and Employment Services to assist in preparing for life after college. For specific information, please see the Student-Athlete Development (PAWS) web page or Career Services web page.
Athletic Academic Counselors work closely with Disability Resources for Students (located in 110 Wilder Tower) to coordinate academic programs for those student-athletes who may need this additional support.
Athletic Academic Counselors assist former student-athletes who return to the University of Memphis in order to assist them with degree completion and progress toward graduation.
Student-athletes, at certain points in their academic careers, are required to participate in the study hall program. Athletic Academic Counselors proactively monitor student-athletes in the study hall program. Study hall is designed to provide student-athletes with an avenue to study in a learning-centered environment. Study hall takes place in the center where student-athletes can utilize computers, study carrels, and tutoring services if necessary.
The entire staff in the Center for Athletic Academic Services implements an Orientation program for all incoming freshmen and transfer student-athletes. Orientation is held prior to the beginning of classes in August and January. Orientation sessions assist student-athletes in preparing for the upcoming semester, adjusting to the college environment, and learning about campus resources available to all students.
At times, Athletic Academic Counselors assist student-athletes in dealing with the daily stresses of life as a student-athlete. If necessary, counselors refer student-athletes to other campus resources if student-athletes need additional counseling services or assistance from other professionals on campus.
Athletic Academic Counselors ensure that student-athletes receive and provide professors with a travel letter each semester. A travel letter includes the dates and times of travel for the entire semester. Providing faculty with a travel letter at the beginning of the semester allows for each student-athlete to engage in a conversation with his or her professors about travel dates that may conflict with exams, assignments, or other course requirements. Travel letters assist student-athletes in developing reliable communication with faculty regarding one’s participation in athletics. Athletic Academic Counselors follow up with faculty as needed regarding student-athlete travel or other extenuating circumstances like illness or deaths in the family.
One of the Athletic Academic Counselors also serves a Tutor Coordinator for the Center of Athletic Academic Services. The tutoring program is extremely active in helping provide student-athletes with additional academic assistance as needed. Upper class students and graduate students serve as tutors in a variety of academic subjects ranging from English and Math to Spanish and Philosophy. Tutor sessions are held in conjunction with the study hall program in the academic center. Most often, student-athletes meet with tutors in one-on-one meetings, but at times, student-athletes may meet with tutors in small group settings. Tutor sessions serve as additional explanation of course material, not as a supplement for class attendance.
We also have a new online tutoring program called SmartThinking that is available to student-athletes who may be interested in drop-in tutoring and live chat tutoring sessions.
Additional Responsibilities of Athletic Academic Counselors:
- Meet with professors, advisors, or other campus personnel as necessary.
- Work with professors if problems arise with a student-athlete's academic performance.
- Report academic progress and study hall performance to coaches on a weekly or daily basis.
- Assist coaches in recruiting by meeting with prospective student-athletes and their families.