«This study examined whether the academic success, specifically the grade-point average, NCAA progress-towards-degree, and freshman to sophomore ...»
The small number of minority students at EKU made it very difficult to measure differences between ethnic groups. Similar studies should be conducted at NCAA Division I institutions that are more diverse with regard to ethnicity.
This study looked exclusively at quantitative data in determining academic performance and retention rates of student-athletes in Group A and Group B. Although quantitative data are very effective when looking at academic performance, qualitative data are needed to better determine the reasons for student departure. Surveys and interviews of student-athletes would provide a richer context regarding retention and student departure issues. Qualitative data are needed to determine the reason for the differences in retention rates between groups regarding white males participating in lowprofile sports at EKU.
This study compared the demographic characteristics, the NCAA progresstowards-degree, the first and second semester grade point averages, and the first-year retention rates of two groups of student-athletes enrolled in different types of first-year experience courses at Eastern Kentucky University, Group A participated in an athletespecific first-year experience course taught by athletic-academic personnel, and Group B participated in a first-year experience course designed for the general student body taught by a student services professional not affiliated with the athletic department.
The quantitative data demonstrated that there was no significant difference between Group A and Group B regarding NCAA progress-towards-degree and first- year academic performance. It was also noted that there was very little difference between Group A and Group B regarding first- year retention rates, with the exception of white males participating in low-profile sports.
Based on the findings from this study, the researcher suggested that further examinations of first- year experience courses specifically for student-athletes should be conducted. Specifically future research should include NCAA Division I institutions that have ethnically diverse student bodies.
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