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NCAA leadership development announces 2015-16 education programs and resources

The NCAA leadership development department solidified its education program lineup and resources for the 2015-16 academic year. The department, operating within the education and community engagement group at the national office, will impact more than 5,000 athletes, coaches and administrators in the membership.

The NCAA, through its leadership development department, supports various programs with expert curriculum designed to enhance the well-being and personal development of NCAA college athletes, plus provides continuing education and topical training to those athletics professionals who identify and serve student-athlete needs on campus. 

Leadership development programming is conducted both at the NCAA national office and at regional locations across the United States. The educational training assists students with making their impact felt on campus and, after graduation, on the world. It also creates programming that helps with the transition to life after college sports. Returning in 2016 will be the National Student-Athlete Day celebration (Indianapolis), Student-Athlete Leadership Forum (Phoenix), IMG Wooden Academy (Phoenix), United Nations International Sports Forum (Bradenton, Florida), and the Career in Sports Forum (Indianapolis).

“We strive to grow that next generation of leaders through values-based programming,” said Curtis J. Hollomon, NCAA director of leadership development. “This lineup explores a host of relevant and timeless subjects: character, branding, servant leadership, personal and professional development, career exploration, engagement, communicating with a purpose, social networking, coaching and values identification.”

Online education curriculum is a primary focus moving into 2016. Additionally, college athletes can already access discounted Kaplan Test prep materials and DiSC behavioral assessments with assistance from campus student-athlete development administrators.

“Each offering is constructed and executed by NCAA staff, subject-matter experts and instructional designers to provide participants an interactive learning opportunity that can be applied back on campus,” said Hollomon, “and to keep college athletes, coaches and administrators on top of important trends in college sports.” 

Another primary focus in 2016 is helping recent graduates transition from playing sports to starting a career in the industry. The department oversees the renowned NCAA Postgraduate Internship Program; will work alongside NCAA governance to distribute over $2.5 million in grants to schools and conference offices to increase the pool of and opportunities for qualified minority and female administrators in college athletics; and will host the Emerging Leaders Seminar (Indianapolis) for graduate assistants and interns. And as part of a valuable partnership with the National Association for Collegiate Women’s Athletics Administrators, NCAA leadership development will again provide funding for the annual NCAA/NACWAA Women’s Leadership Symposium.

NCAA leadership development continues its collaboration with the National Football League on a mission to educate and better inform college football coaches, primarily talented minority candidates, by conducting the NCAA and NFL Coaches Academy (Tampa, Florida) and the Champion Forum (Dallas). Additionally, 20 scholarships will be provided to applicants who are new to coaching football to attend the American Football Coaches Association convention (San Antonio) for the AFCA/NCAA 30 Under 30 Coaches Leadership Institute.

“Continuing the education of administrators and coaches can provide a better, more complete experience for college athletes, whether on campus or in the professional arena,” said Dr. Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of education and community engagement and the association’s chief inclusion officer.

Also, the NCAA will conduct a pair of Effective Facilitation Workshops (Indianapolis) and teach the practice of active learning, a skill set the participants will implement with student-athletes at the Leadership Forum and Career in Sports Forum, and also apply on their campuses. Also available are the Leadership Academy Workshop (Phoenix) and the annual N4A/NCAA Life Skills Symposium (Dallas), which may be conducted this year in concert with the National Association of Academic Advising for Athletics leadership.  Programming will also be available for student development administrators to obtain certification and training at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Aiding the development of athletics administrators, especially those talented and driven individuals seeking to ascend to director of athletics, continues this coming year with the Leadership Institute (Phoenix), Pathway Program (San Antonio/Portland, Oregon) and a series of online courses that challenge participants to explore the body of college athletics.

“Administrators and coaches who complete the leadership development programs not only gain technical knowledge,” Franklin said, “but leave our programs with knowledge that helps them better serve their student-athletes.”

For more information about NCAA leadership development programming and resources, including eligibility, program dates and application deadlines, go to