All college students sitting in classrooms today face challenges that can impede their success. A challenging course schedule, competing demand for the student’s time, and college readiness are all factors that can hinder a student’s performance in the classroom. Moreover, these challenges also have the ability to impact the student’s overall student development. While most students share a common set of stressors, there are certain groups on campus that face pressures and challenges that are not shared by the majority of their peers. Student athletes are such a group. Joshua Watson (2005) noted the positive benefits of participating in intercollegiate activities, but also noted that such participation can lead to issues of “maladjustment, emotional illness, and psychological distress” (p. 442). Because of the unique issues facing student athletes, academic administrators and student affairs professionals are challenged to adequately address these challenges. While there may be existing services on campus to assist all students with success related issues, institutions must also take a closer look at the services that will be the most effective for student athletes. An important element is not only having a conducive learning environment for services, but also staff personnel who understand the complex life of a student athlete. Many athletic advising and counseling programs concentrate on academic eligibility; however, student athletes can also benefit from services that promote the overall development of the student (Howard-Hamilton & Sina, 2001). Based on the aforementioned, institutions could greatly benefit from a dedicated office that works directly and closely with student athletes. An Athletic Student Developme.
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