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Since its inception in 1991, the five-faceted Student-Athlete Enrichment Program has provided its student-athletes a continued commitment to excellence. Our approach is to address the total student-athlete, and we are committed to coaching our student-athletes to success (C.A.T.S.) not only in the athletic arena but in the academic, personal growth, career, and service arenas as well. As an original member of the NCAA Life Skills/CHAMPS Program, we provide opportunities and services to address the changing needs and skills of student-athletes in the years during college and after graduation.
Clemson University’s commitment to provide its student-athletes with the very best of facilities is evident in many ways. From the soaring upper decks of Memorial Stadium, to the state-of-the-art strength training facility, young men and women from all 19 of Clemson’s varsity sports have the very best in facilities for training and competition. Vickery Hall is no exception, as the $3 million structure is as impressive aesthetically as any of the other facilities. But the importance of Vickery Hall to the Clemson University Athletics Department is not found in the structure itself, but in the many programs that the building houses. Vickery Hall opened in the spring of 1991 and was the first support facility in the country built solely for the all-around education of student-athletes. The two-story, 27,000 square-foot building is open throughout the day and into the evening to accommodate the extended schedules of student-athletes.
The mission of the Student-Athlete Enrichment Programs is to monitor, guide, and encourage student-athletes to fulfill their long-term goals, and to achieve their academic and career potential. Vickery Hall focuses on five primary areas to meet the student-athlete’s needs.
The academic commitment aspect of Clemson’s Student-Athlete Enrichment Programs has provided one of the best academic support and advising programs in the nation.
The proof is in the statistics. A record 181 Clemson student-athletes made the academic honor roll in 1999. The student-athletes had a record 2.71 GPA in the spring of 1999, just .07 from the overall student body GPA of 2.78. Records were also established for number of President’s List and Dean’s List students. Seven Clemson volleyball players were on the ACC academic honor roll for the 1998-99 academic year. The team posted a 2.96 GPA for the year, the fourth-highest of all Clemson sports programs. The Academic Counselors perform a variety of duties to track academic progress. These duties include providing assistance in registration and priority scheduling, contacting faculty, personally checking classes, recording information, counseling sessions with student-athletes, providing diagnostic testing, and directing career aspirations.
One of the most prestigious programs that has received recognition essential to the growth of Vickery Hall is the tutorial program. Of the 160 programs certified by CRLA, the Clemson Student-Athlete Enrichment Program is one of three student-athlete programs in the country to be granted a Level 1 certification from the College of Reading and Learning Association, International Tutor Certification Program. Having tutor certification allows student-athletes to be provided the highest quality of academic assistance possible. Approximately 80 tutors are hired to provide academic support in the many subject areas offered.
Many post-graduate scholarships and internships are also available to student-athletes continuing their education through postgraduate studies. Our student-athletes are provided timely information regarding these opportunities and the resources necessary to assist in the application process for either scholarships or internships.
The Department of Student-Athlete Enrichment Programs has recognized the need for students to have access to high-quality computing equipment and has made a commitment to provide the student-athletes at Clem-son with one of the largest computer labs in the country. Located on the first floor of Vickery Hall is the Microcomputer Laboratory. The lab is open seven days a week, for 16 hours on Monday through Thursday, and a limited time on Saturday and Sunday. During exam periods the lab hours are extended.
The lab staff has a full-time computer manager, and also graduate students, many of whom are pursuing advanced degrees in computer science. Lab staff members are available for tutoring of any Computer Science course, as well as the many management, engineering, and business courses that deal with personal computers.
The Department of Student-Athlete Enrichment Programs is committed to providing state-of-the-art computing facilities. New computers have recently been purchased bringing the lab to a state of the art facility. Over 40 computers are available for student-athletes. All computers are fully connected to the internet allowing for access of computers throughout the world for research and communication.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITMENT
One of the most important programs that helps student-athletes reach their full potential and engage successfully in this college experience is the Personal Growth and Development Program. One of the key components of this program is the first-semester freshman transition class designed to assist the student-athlete in making a successful transition into his/her university and athletic life. All first-semester freshmen attend a semester-long series of workshops targeting the transitional issues of time management, organizational strategies, health and wellness issues, athletic issues, diversity issues, career orientation, and service training. Throughout the academic year, all student-athletes are required to attend four large-group programs, which focus on pertinent social, health, and athletic issues.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT COMMITMENT
The Career Assistance Program provides student-athletes an opportunity to fulfill career aspirations by participating in various career seminars offered by the staff at Vickery Hall. The philosophy of this program is to provide student-athletes with job- searching skills and strategies, internships, practical experience, and summer employment. These programs are designed to address specific career opportunities and acquire information about the student-athletes for each year.
By using the resources available to the University, Alumni Center, and the Athletic Department, the staff is working to establish a network of businesses, companies, and executives who will help assist with the Summer Employment Assistance Program. The program’s main goal is to provide the student-athletes with job experience and a work history, which he or she can apply to his or her academic discipline.
The Career Assistance Program is coordinated from the academic colleges, the Placement Center, and through the Athletic Department contacts. This program is designed to better prepare the student-athlete for full-time employment and focuses on resume writing and interview techniques.
Providing community and outreach service to student-athletes and the surrounding community by engaging the student-athletes in hands-on interactive programs is an important aspect of the Student-Athlete Enrichment Programs. The staff of SAEP coordinates various activities each year to engage student-athletes in community outreach projects along with academic programs.
Another aspect of the service commitment is that of community service. The purpose of community service is to allow the student-athletes to become involved with the happenings of the community while giving back at the same time. Each year every team is required to perform at least two community outreach projects. Recently implemented was a new community service program entitled Success Away From the Game. The purpose of this program is to combine athletes of different sports in community outreach programs. By doing this, each outreach program participates thus creating a diverse group of athletes with new and different ideas. At the end of each year, six student-athletes who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and contributions to the community are recognized as the Top 6 by the ACC. LIFELine, another aspect of community service, consists of chosen football players who work together in specific community outreach projects. LIFELine has approximately 20 members along with a president, vice president and secretary. Once a month, these young men meet to discuss future projects. To date, they have sponsored Hi-Five Day and planted a garden at Helping Hands Children Shelter. These young men have vital roles in both the community and the athletic arena.
To assist our student-athletes in becoming effective service leaders and communicators we provide service and speaking training which anticipates the demands placed on a student-athlete when he/she might be speaking with a group of young people or also speaking with the media.
Under the direction of athletic director Bobby Robinson, Clemson is undoubtedly one of the elite programs of Division I athletics. Seven Clemson teams ranked in the final top 20 of their respective sports last season, including four teams in the top 10 (men’s soccer, women’s basketball, golf and men’s indoor track). Two teams, men’s soccer and golf, were ranked number-one in the nation at various times during the season. Last year marked the fourth straight year Clemson has had at least seven top 25 teams. Thirteen of Clemson’s 19 teams advanced to postseason play during the 1998-99 academic year. Seven of the 13 finished in the Sweet 16 or better of their respective postseason events.
With a generous funding base from Clemson’s booster organization, IPTAY, and the forward-thinking of our athletic administration, the Clemson Tigers will continue to be a dominating athletic force not only in the ACC but nationally as well.
October 15, 2021