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Collaborative Peer Tutoring as a Mechanism for the Integration of First-Year Student-Athletes

Title: Collaborative Peer Tutoring as a Mechanism for the Integration of First-Year Student-Athletes.
Name(s): Walters, Glenn E., Jr, author
Cox, Brad, professor directing dissertation
Jeong, Allan, university representative
Hu, Shouping, committee member
Schwartz, Robert A., committee member
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: For high-profile Division-I student-athletes, the academic success journey is often overshadowed by athletic participation, providing both researchers and practitioners an incomplete picture of student-athlete academic success. There exists little literature on the phenomenon of student-athlete integration, a process suggested to enhance chances of academic success for this population (Comeaux & Harrison, 2011). Moreover, existing integration models largely do not consider the unique characteristics of student-athletes. Student-athletes, particularly Division-I revenue athletes, face grueling athletic schedules and public expectations that make it difficult for them to achieve academic or social integration with the non-athletic parts of university life. In light of considerable public scrutiny of Division-I sports (Gayles & Hu, 2009b), a better understanding of student-athlete integration has the potential to (a) improve the college experience for this population, (b) increase integration, (c) promote academic success, and (d) enhance overall retention. Over the course of the Spring 2012 semester, multiple observations and interviews were performed in Structured Study Time (SST), a collaborative peer-tutoring program housed in the Department of Student-Athlete Academic Services at Legacy University. Data was analyzed based on the procedures outlined in Corbin and Strauss's (2008) grounded theory methodology. The Supporting Connections (SC) model uncovered in this study is a conceptual model describing the student-athlete integration process in a collaborative tutoring arrangement. The model proposes that student-athlete integration is best achieved when student-athletes strengthen and stabilize connections with the institution's people, places, and activities beyond the playing field. The notion of connections indicates the overarching theme that permeates all the other items in the model. This continuous process is the mechanism responsible for supporting student-athlete perceptions of connection to the whole college experience (e.g., by building a strong connection with the tutor, the student-athlete feels a stronger connection to SST and, by extension, the multiple domains of the university's life). Findings suggest that the student-athlete integration process is undergirded by strong institutional agents (e.g., tutorial staff) who are able to manipulate important academic and social forces in SST, thus creating the desired experiences (e.g., engagement, enjoyment, and escapism) that perpetuate student-athlete connections to university life. The Supporting Connections (SC) model presented in this study provides a new tool for researchers and practitioners to assess the integrative potential of campus support programs, designed with characteristics of Division-I student-athletes in mind, that can (a) provide a better conceptual understanding of the integration process, (b) more effectively operationalize student-athlete integration, (c) increase perceptions of belonging to other campus organizations, and (d) increase the likelihood of academic success for this non-traditional student population.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-7645 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2013.
Date of Defense: February 22, 2013.
Keywords: academic, athletes, collaborative, integration, social, student
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Brad Cox, Professor Directing Dissertation; Allan Jeong, University Representative; Shouping Hu, Committee Member; Robert A. Schwartz, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Educational leadership
Education and state
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Host Institution: FSU

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Walters, G. E. (2013). Collaborative Peer Tutoring as a Mechanism for the Integration of First-Year Student-Athletes. Retrieved from