November 6, 13 and 20, 2002
The Academic Integrity Subcommittee met from 6:00 – 7:00 pm on Wedneday evenings, November 6, 13 and 20, 2002, in either the athletics conference room (11/6) or the Cardinal Park conference room. In attendance were committee members: Pierce, Wise, Mittel, Drury, Simatacolos and Mitchell.
5. Prior to the meetings of these student focus groups, Ms. Simatacolos generated a “random” collection of student-athletes by first grouping them by sports group, then by selecting, a priori, every eighth person on the list. The resulting group was examined for appropriate representation by gender, race, sports group and class, and was found to be representative.
6. Student-athletes were further subdivided into 3 subgroups and were encouraged to attend meetings especially geared to them. These groups and dates for meeting were:
November 6 - Fifth year seniors
November 13 – 3rd and 4th year student-athletes
November 20 – 1st and 2nd year student-athletes.
7. Student-athletes were contacted by peers who were also committee members (Mittel, Thomas and Drury) and were encouraged to participate.
8. Discussions were led by Mittel, Drury, Pierce and Wise, and discussion was initiated using rather open-ended questions to elicit discussion and conversation among the student athletes, rather than punctate data.
9. Responses generated will be used:
a. to answer questions raised in the instrument,
b. to substantiate claims of trends in availability of academic services (hence the division by years in program)
c. for comparison to the last self study.
10. Some general themes emerged, including:
a. Student-athletes vastly prefer “objective-based” learning and study halls to past practices of minimum supervised time in study hall
b. Older student-athletes reported a tendency to rely on coaching staff for advice on academic services early in career, while newer students relied on the academic services staff
c. Student-athletes report strong satisfaction with the athletic department academic services, and their advisors in general.
d. Student-athletes know to work with advisors to gain access to special academic services (e.g. learning disabilities, tutors, computers for road trips, etc.)
e. Student-athletes report dissatisfaction with availability of computer facilities in athletics study halls, but were aware of computer facility availability for the general student body and used this.
f. Student-athletes report occasional difficulties with faculty members and application of policies concerning missed classes and missed examinations.
g. Student-athletes reported a relative ignorance of academic services available to the remainder of the student body.
h. There appears to be a lack of understanding among some student-athletes concerning policies for summer aid and fifth year aid policies.
i. Several student-athletes noted that they would appreciate an early introduction to and discussion of the many choices of major and to the benefits of choosing a minor.
j. One international student requested that U of L provide better information prior to enrollment and more substantial academic services after enrollment to this growing constituency.
Students were encouraged to contact either the student (Mittel, Drury or Thomas) or faculty (Pierce or Wise) committee members privately with any further thoughts, questions, concerns or comments that they have concerning academic services
Respectfully submitted, William Pierce