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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

Purposeful Engagement of First-Year Division I Student-Athletes

Author(s): Comeaux, E., Speer, L., Taustine, M., & Harrison, C. K.

Citation: Comeaux, E., Speer, L., Taustine, M., & Harrison, C. K. (2011). Purposeful Engagement of First-Year Division I Student-Athletes. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 23(1), 35-52.



This study examined the extent to which transitioning, first-year student-athletes engage in educationally sound activities in college. The sample included 147 revenue and nonrevenue first-year student-athletes who were surveyed at four large Division 1-A universities. Findings revealed that revenue and nonrevenue first-year student athletes differed regarding their academic and athletic identities. Transitioning revenue student-athletes rated themselves as having slightly higher athletic identities, yet lower academic identities compared to their nonrevenue counterparts. The findings from this study also indicated that the kinds of effective educational practices that first-year student-athletes engage in have a positive influence on their academic self-concept. These findings have implications for head coaches and student affairs leaders, particularly academic counselors and advisors who are working with this special population of students.


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