You are here

Toolkit aims to help schools with degree completion requirement

By Aug. 1, all DI schools must have degree completion programs that meet minimum requirements

Schools looking for information about the new Division I requirement to provide men’s and women’s basketball players with funding to complete their degrees even after they leave school can find it all in one spot. The Former Student-Athlete Degree Achievement Toolkit — a comprehensive set of materials for schools in any stage of creating, developing or modifying a degree completion program — is available to members online.

The toolkit, available online not only to allow organizers the opportunity to add and change materials as they become available but also to make it easily accessible, provides tools for members to use as they develop or modify their own programs and will provide best-practices resources over time.

The toolkit provides multiple resources:

  • The Former Student-Athlete Degree Achievement Program: This section aids schools that have been designated as limited resource schools within the past five years. These schools are eligible to use funding from the NCAA to pay for their mandated degree completion programs. A timeline and other basic information are available.
  • Sample applications.
  • Other tools: This section provides a sample program overview and an example of a tool that can be used to help former student-athletes make progress toward graduation.
  • An overview of the requirement to provide degree completion funding beginning in the fall of 2019.

Additionally, links to NCAA resources for former student-athletes and other related information are included.

“The toolkit is supposed to be about simplicity,” said Marcus Brown, assistant director of academic and membership affairs with the NCAA. “How can we keep it as simple as possible so if you don’t have a program, here are the foundational pieces you need to get started?”

Carrie Leger White, assistant director of academic and membership affairs with the NCAA, said she and her colleagues had assistance from administrators on several Division I campuses in developing the toolkit, particularly the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals.

“We had several conversations with the N4A leadership and representatives to get their input on what resources would be helpful for them on campus as they are trying to develop their own programs,” Leger White said. “There’s been so much the membership has seen with regard to college basketball reform this year, and the effective date for this piece isn’t until August. We wanted to put together a resource that would be as helpful to the membership as possible.”

Ashton Henderson, assistant athletics director for student-athlete development at Florida State, assisted with the project along with several of his colleagues.

“The toolkit will help people understand that when you’re able to put resources and opportunity into alignment, it provides clarity in what you’re trying to achieve,” he said. “Hopefully it will lead to people having more fruitful conversations about how this will help this specific population.”

Applications for fall semester funding from the NCAA’s Former Student-Athlete Degree Achievement Fund are open through June 3. The spring/summer 2020 funding application period runs Aug. 31-Oct. 15. This fund was established to assist institutions identified as Limited Resource during the past five years meet the requirement to provide assistance to former men’s and women’s basketball players. Applications can be accessed through the NCAA Program Hub.