A sports management degree often leads to jobs in coaching or sports administration in intercollegiate athletics. Another option is a career as an athletic academic advisor. These individuals are part of the university athletics staff, and they promote academic excellence for student-athletes.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requires athletic departments to provide athletes with an advisor who is focused on their academic success. There are a variety of job titles for the profession, including athletic academic specialist and coordinator of athletic academic services. The position typically reports to the athletic director.
Marissa Tashenberg, an EKU sport management graduate, is an academic coordinator for the football and softball teams at Bowling Green State University. She travels with the teams to help players keep up with their academic responsibilities while they are on the road.
“My favorite part about being an academic coordinator is building relationships with the students and watching them develop as independent learners,” said Tashenberg.
The role of the academic advisor is essential in maintaining the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate for teams. Schools that do not meet the standards may lose scholarships, face a reduction in practice time, forfeit their postseason championship eligibility or, in extreme cases, face membership restrictions and lose their Division 1 status.
The athletic academic advisor works closely with student-athletes, faculty and the coaching staff. They assist with course registration and scheduling and monitor class attendance. They also coordinate tutoring and mentoring sessions for student-athletes who need more support.
The athletic academic advisor monitors a player’s eligibility during college, as well as helping them prepare for a career after graduation. They must stay up-to-date regarding requirements for the regional conference, as well as the NCAA academic eligibility requirements. They should enjoy working with people and excel at active listening, decision making and problem solving. If a student-athlete is struggling, the athletic academic advisor may seek out resources to make sure they are prepared for college or research more effective learning strategies,
Athletic academic advising is a multi-faceted career that can help schools understand the NCAA eligibility rules and help student-athletes reduce stress, stay motivated and prepare for life after college.
Interested in turning your passion for sport into a career?
Earn your online bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university that has been an online education leader for more than 15 years. EKU’s online sport management degree prepares graduates to pursue careers such as an athletic administrator and so many others. Our graduates have gone on to work at the University of South Carolina, Bowling Green State University (Ohio), and Vanderbilt University — just to name a few.