Masters Thesis

College persistence and the Division II athlete

Being a student athlete is an opportunity to gain college admission and participate in athletics at a competitive level as determined by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Student-athlete experiences in a university setting likely differ depending on the level of NCAA competition in which each particular campus participates. Unfortunately, many student athletes, despite their competitive Division, report experiences of being stigmatized by their peers and professors. The purpose of my project is to examine the educational and social experiences of Division II collegiate student athletes as it relates to their stigmatization. Drawing on existing 2011-2012 student census data from Humboldt State University, I analyze the collegiate academic experiences of NCAA Division II student athletes as they attempt to obtain their degree. I create an easy to read and cost effective report to show the persistence of Division II student athletes towards graduating despite their lack of mandated specialized academic assistance. This research seeks to break the negative stigma student athletes face on collegiate campuses. It is my goal that this project will educate staff, faculty, athletic donors and the public on the unique nature of student athletes rather than allowing speculation to determine the outcome of student athlete collegiate experiences.