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NCAA, N4A to Partner on Life Skills Professional Development

The NCAA leadership development department on Friday announced a partnership with the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics, better known as N4A, for daily oversight and operation of programming for student-athletes and life skills professionals at NCAA member institutions. Over a three-year period, N4A will become the primary provider of development and programming for life skills professionals.

“We continue to look for ways to enhance our services delivered to the membership,” said Curtis J. Hollomon, NCAA director of leadership development. "This transition to N4A allows the natural synergy of life skills and academics to make an impact on the national stage.”

As it moves from its role as the primary provider of life skills training, the NCAA’s leadership development team has launched new initiatives, such as: online education curriculum; discounted Kaplan Test Prep materials; DiSC behavioral assessments; the IMG Wooden Academy leadership academy; Effective Facilitation Workshop; Leadership Workshop Academy; the Athlete Development Professional Certification Program at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School; a leadership presence in the National Association of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education’s student-athlete knowledge community.

“As college athletics, and the student-athletes therein, evolve, it is necessary for professionals who serve the student-athlete to do so as well,” said Jean Boyd, N4A president and senior associate athletics director for student-athlete development at Arizona State. “The formal integration of academic and life skills programming and practitioners gives student-athletes their best chance to be supported and developed holistically as champions in their academics, champions in their sport and, most importantly, champions in their lives.”

In anticipation of this collaboration, the two groups will survey the NCAA membership to gain a holistic view of the life skills landscape in college athletics. A national forum – consisting of NCAA life skills action team members, fellow life skills administrators and academic advisors, NCAA leadership development staff and the N4A leadership – will then analyze the survey results and plan the 2016 Life Skills Symposium, which may take place in conjunction with the N4A convention in June in Dallas.

The NCAA and N4A will collaborate to conduct the 2016 and 2017 symposiums, with N4A taking over the program in 2018.

“Once the transition is complete we look forward to being a lifelong collaborator with N4A under their new structure,” added Hollomon.

NCAA life skills administrators bridge the gap between student affairs and athletics. The ongoing programming and education facilitated at the national level and executed on campus seeks to fully prepare student-athletes for life, arming them with skills that are useful through college and after graduation. Customized education, tailored programming and engaging speakers address topics such as values identification, character building, financial literacy, mental health, community service, transitioning to life after college and differing leadership styles.

About NCAA leadership development: NCAA leadership development provides education and training for college athletes, coaches and administrators. The group’s goal is to assist with the transition to life after college sports, foster the growth of the next generation of leaders and encourage athletics administrators to translate lessons learned through competition. Professional development opportunities are available to college athletes, graduate assistants and interns, athletics administrators and coaches. For more information, visit

About N4A: N4A, in existence since 1975, is a diverse educational service and professional nonprofit organization. N4A’s members include academic support and student-services personnel who are committed to enhancing opportunities for academic, athletics and personal success for student-athletes. For more information on N4A, visit N4A is administered by NACDA, now in its 51st year, and administers 15 professional associations, including seven for the separate business units that report directly to the athletics directors. For more information on NACDA, visit