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ERIC Number: ED546114
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 161
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-9292-7
Division I Student Athletes and the Experience of Academic Clustering
Calhoun, Vaughn A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northeastern University
Have you ever watched a televised college football or basketball game where they show the starting lineup's academic majors? If so, you may have noticed that many of the student athletes have the same academic majors, be it communications, criminal justice, sociology, etc. Nevertheless, many have taken notice and labeled this phenomenon as "academic clustering." In particular, numerous scholarly papers and popular press articles have examined clustering in terms of occurrence and frequency. However, very few have attempted to examine academic clustering through the lens of the student athlete to determine their experience. The purpose of this study was to explore how former Division I student athletes experienced academic clustering. This study brings to light the lived experiences of academic clustering through the first-hand voice of former Division I student athletes who were academically clustered. To examine this the researcher asked: What is the lived experience of former Division I student athletes who have been academically clustered? To answer the research question, the researcher conducted a qualitative analysis, specifically, "phenomenology," as a means to gain an in-depth understanding of the lived experience of being academically clustered. In addition, Institutional Theory was selected as a means to interpret the findings of the study. The study sample contained 7 former Division I student athletes who participated on the football team (5 African American and two Caucasian) at a large 4-year public university on the East Coast. A purposeful sample technique was employed. Five conclusions emerged from the data regarding the student athletes' lived experience of being academically clustered: 1) Academic clustering is one consequence of the required athletic schedule; 2) Academic clustering is one method used to maintain athletes' eligibility; 3) Academic clustering facilitated indifference toward academic achievement; 4) Academic clustering further isolated student athletes from the general student population and a traditional college experience and; 5) Student athletes lacked in-depth academic support to help realize their academic potential. Recommendations are provided for academic advisors, coaches and student athletes with the goal of encouraging these different constituencies to understand areas where their behaviors could change to provide a meaningful education for student athletes. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A