Student Athlete Development

Student athletes posing for a photo
The Office of Student-Athlete Development is committed in providing programs and services that relate directly to the university’s mission- a learning-centered approach that is tailored to student-athletes academic, mental, personal, and social needs. Student Athlete Development, a department of the Student Success Center in Academic Affairs, collaborates with Jacksonville State University’s (JSU) Athletic Department Academic Services to affirmatively impact student athletes’ growth and achievement. Specifically, this unit provides resources needed to support the total development of student athletes including academic achievement, personal development, and career readiness. 

Our Mission

The mission of Student-Athlete Development is to equip and guide JSU student-athletes toward academic success by providing them with skills that simultaneously benefit them during their collegiate careers and prepare them for life after collegiate athletics.

At-Risk Student-Athlete Interventions

Student-Athlete Development is responsible for the academic wellbeing of all student-athletes. However, particular focus is placed on those who are categorized as being “at-risk”. To determine those who are at-risk, the term GPAs of all student-athletes are analyzed at the end of each semester. Athletes who finish a semester with a term GPA below 2.5 are considered at-risk, and additional attention will be given to them over the course of the next semester in the form of Interventions. Interventions are scheduled meetings that take place with a Student-Athlete Development staff member, typically occurring on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. These meetings will focus on time management, study skills and academic success strategies, but they also provide a one-on-one setting in which student-athletes are encouraged to raise any questions or concerns they may have. During Interventions student-athletes are held accountable for their academic performance while simultaneously being guided toward academic improvement and success.

Prospective Athlete & Family Meetings

Student-Athlete Development staff members meet with prospective student-athletes, recruits, and their families throughout the year. Information regarding the purpose and function of Student-Athlete Development, as well as available resources are given during these meetings. Tours of the Student Success Center are given at each meeting’s conclusion, and all visitors are encouraged to ask any questions they may have. 

Leadership & Career Development

Student-Athlete Development recognizes that leadership in athletics is essential, but we also believe that leadership traits are necessary in the classroom. True leaders tend to exhibit themselves as such in every area of life, including academics. It is a job of Student-Athlete Development to foster the growth of these leadership traits within an academic setting. To do so, Student-Athlete Development offers leadership seminars throughout the academic year. These seminars give student-athletes the opportunity to learn from individuals whose lives exemplify true leadership. 

To ensure preparedness for life after college, student-athletes will be in contact with a Career Advisor. These coordinators are assigned by major, and they will assist student-athletes with everything from resume building to conducting job/career searches. The Student Success Center also offers career events throughout the year to ensure that student-athletes have the opportunity to explore career possibilities or prepare for their desired career. 

Collaboration with Athletic Academic Advisors and Athletic Coaches

Student-Athlete Development communicates with Athletic Academic Advisors and Athletic Coaches regularly. Since all three parties work with student-athletes in different capacities, it is essential that all three areas collaborate consistently. To facilitate this, weekly Study Hall and At-Risk reports are sent to Athletic Academic Advisors and Coaches to ensure everyone is on the same page. Similarly, any updates received are forwarded to each group. Advisors, Coaches, and Student-Athlete Development understand that issues in one area can affect a student-athlete’s performance in another area. Because of this, Student-Athlete Development makes it a priority to work closely with both Athletic Academic Advisors and Athletic Coaches.