Academic Support Overview
Academic Support Services
The Department of Athletics and Recreation employs five full-time staff members and 30-40 tutors to assist over 400 student-athletes. Through the support of the faculty and administration, the mandate of the Department of Athletics and Recreation, and the dedication of the student-athletes, the department claims a high graduation rate for all of its sports.
Established in 1983, the Academic Support Services Program was initially designed to provide support services to a small group of students. The program has expanded to include services for all student-athletes, with an emphasis on individual responsibility and pride in academic accomplishments. Descriptions of these services are listed below.
The Academic Support staff is available for informal academic advising and counseling on classes and choices of majors. For official advising, students are routinely referred to the advisors in their departments.
New Student Orientation
The Colonial Inauguration Orientation Program for freshmen and transfers creates an opportunity for the Academic Support Staff to meet athletes prior to the fall semester. It also allows new students a chance to meet each other, become acquainted with professors and advisors on campus, and to generally become comfortable with GW and its campus. When classes begin, the Academic Support Office, along with Peer Athlete Leaders (PALS) from all sports, conduct welcome/orientation activities for new students. The sessions offer an opportunity for new students to become acquainted with one another and to learn more about the services that academic support provides.
Academic monitoring is provided for all student-athletes to track academic progress for NCAA eligibility as well as to assist students who may be experiencing academic difficulties. Progress reports are sent out 1-2 times a semester to all professors. Students who are considered "at risk" for academic difficulty may be required to meet weekly with an Academic Support staff counselor. A summary report of all credits and grades earned is given to the Athletic Director.
Assessment is recommended and coordinated for student-athletes on a case by case basis. The methods vary, depending on the student involved. When more formal testing is necessary, the student is usually referred to Disability Support Services or the Counseling Center on campus. This office provides referrals for formal diagnostic testing, and assists students in following through with this process.
Coaches, in conjunction with the Academic Support staff, determine which of their students will attend study hall sessions. Freshmen, transfers and continuing students with a grade point average below a 2.5 may be required to attend study hours.
Individual and Group Tutoring/Review Sessions
Tutoring is offered in a wide variety of subject areas. The Academic Support Program interviews, hires, and supervises approximately 40-50 tutors; most of whom are graduate students. Most tutoring is conducted in a small group setting. However, individual tutoring is provided on a case by case basis. Students requesting assistance must submit a tutoring request form signed by their professors and then meet with an academic support advisor.
Review sessions are conducted for classes that student-athletes often take and that seem to present difficulty for many students. Courses such as Physics, Chemistry, Math, Statistics, Biology, Accounting, and Economics often fall into this category. Students should contact Academic Support Staff to sign up for assistance.
Learning Strategies Development
Learning strategies instruction is offered to students requesting assistance in this area. It includes several components: efficient and faster reading, reading comprehension, test taking skills and strategies for improved academic performance.
Writing instruction is provided on an individual basis. The instruction sequence begins with developing a clear thesis and continues with practice in extracting the material from the text to support the thesis. Outlines, discussions, rough drafts, instruction on the use of the library, as well as computer instruction, are part of the success of this approach. Students are also referred to The Writing Center at GW, where tutors are available for all students.
Athletic Career Track Program (ACT)
The Athletic Career Track is a comprehensive career development program that is designed to engage the student-athlete in career development activities throughout his/her career at George Washington. The goal of the program is to offer a variety of experiences which will allow student-athletes to make informed and well-planned decisions concerning the selection of a major and the development of career goals. Activities are targeted to meet specific needs as student's progress through their freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior years at GW.
Athlete Mentor Program (AMP)
The Athlete Mentor Program is an opportunity for incoming freshman student-athletes to make a connection with an established GW student-athlete. The program pairs one to two freshmen with an upperclassmen mentor on a team other than their own. Run during fall semester only, freshmen are encouraged to use their mentor as a resource and to take advantage of the experience and wisdom their mentor has to offer.
The Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) is a group comprised of two representatives from each team, nominated by the former representatives, academic support, and their coaches. They organize and perform many activities throughout the year including community service projects, fundraising events, and publicity of all athletic events. They are responsible for keeping their teams apprised of these events and generating their interest and involvement. Finally, they work with the athletic administration to convey the needs of students and to generate ideas and positive movement toward meeting these needs.
Peer Athlete Leaders (PALS) are the selected SAAC representatives from each team who act as liaisons with the Academic Support Staff and new incoming students. PALS assist with new student orientation at the beginning of the Fall semester. Each is assigned to a group of incoming freshmen who are in the same school or major. They are available to answer any questions the students may have regarding life as a student-athlete at GW.
Many teams perform community service projects throughout the school year. Activities have included meeting and visiting children at local elementary schools and hospitals, the Homeless Walk, Adopt-a-Family, For the Love of Children, and Miriam's Kitchen.
Referral to University Support Services
The Academic Support staff acts a referral service for student-athletes needing campus resources. Please see our "Academic Resources" page for links to other services.