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Clemson Student-Athlete Enrichment Program Receives National Certification

Jan. 7, 2011

CLEMSON, SC – Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips announced Friday that Clemson University’s Student-Athlete Enrichment Programs (SAEP) has received certification from the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A).

A comprehensive review of the support services program was recently conducted by reviewer Sandy Meyer, assistant director of the Morgan Academic Support Center for Student-Athletes at Penn State University. Her report was accepted by the N4A review board in which it was noted that “based on the evaluation of the above areas, Clemson University has an exceptional academic support program for student athletes. When compared with the N4A’s components and requirements for an ideal academic support program, Clemson meets the majority of the preferred criteria.”

The N4A is an educational service and professional organization dedicated to promoting academic advisement and counseling to athletics. Formed in 1975, N4A has a diverse membership representing hundreds of professionals nationwide, working to empower student-athletes to become more productive individuals through educational and personal development. Participation in the certification is voluntary.

This latest recognition of the student-athlete enrichment programs comes on the heels of the tutoring program being certified at the highest level, Level Three, last year by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), a distinction shared by only three athletic academic programs nationally. Additionally, the program has been designated a model program by CRLA.

In its report on Clemson’s program, the N4A noted that the tutoring and mentoring program is comprehensive and that it is exceptional. Also noted as exceptional were the services that support student-athletes who may be underprepared for the rigorous Clemson classroom. Through the mandatory study program, the use of learning specialists and weekly meetings with athletic academic advisors, Clemson was cited for providing excellent programs.

The Vickery staff members met, and in most instances, exceeded the N4A standards for academic support personnel. Among the 17-member staff are two staff members with a Ph. D, and all other athletic academic advisors and learning specialists with master degrees.

The review found that programs sponsored through the CHAMPS/LifeSkills umbrella were consistent with national standards. In 1998, Clemson was named a “Program of Excellence” and in 2007, Ginty Porter was named National Administrator of the Year for the CHAMPS/LifeSkills program, so this distinction by the N4A is further confirmation of Clemson’s significant commitment to the total student-athlete experience.

Clemson is one of only nine schools to have the N4A certification. “I appreciate the work of Sandy Meyer and the N4A review board,” said Becky Bowman, director of the SAEP.

“I see daily the work that our athletic academic advisors and learning specialists do so that our student-athletes have appropriate academic support. Our programs are wide-ranging – from providing books at the beginning of the semester consistent with NCAA rules to providing consistent coaching for skills that translate to academic achievement to helping student-athletes determine the best career path – these programs will not succeed without a team effort.”

“Our staff is committed to providing excellent service, and I think the N4A recognized our commitment to our student-athletes.” Bowman continued, “I think we have the best staff in the country, and I am pleased that our staff and our university have been recognized by our professional organization. Our programs are working, and I appreciate the financial support that we receive from IPTAY which provides necessary resources to run our services.”

“Our Student-Athlete Enrichment Program has long been among the best in the nation,” said Athletic Director Dr. Terry Don Phillips. “We are pleased with this certification, which confirms the outstanding and dedicated job our staff at Vickery Hall has done in all areas of student-athlete enrichment.”

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