One of the real success stories for the University of California in recent years is the development and growth of a comprehensive academic support program for its student-athletes - the Athletic Study Center. In 1984, campus officials and Athletic Department administrators decided that a greater emphasis needed to be placed on helping Cal student-athletes with their academic pursuits. The Athletic Study Center was thus born and charged with developing an academic support program geared to the needs of NCAA Division I student-athletes. It was a significant development for an academically oriented institution such as Cal to recognize the special needs required for a modern student-athlete's success both as an athletic competitor on the field of play and in the classroom.
Program for Student-Athletes
The Athletic Study Center, which is housed within the Division of Undergraduate Education, is the tutorial and academic support program for the nearly 1,000 student-athletes at Cal. Centrally-located in the Cesar Chavez Student Center, the program provides a spacious and comfortable arboretum for quiet study, separate classrooms for individual and group tutorials, and a computer lab for word processing and required course work. Geared around the understanding of the amount of time student-athletes must devote to practice, training, physical therapy and team travel, the program creates an environment where students can cultivate good study habits, receive individual or group tutoring and obtain counseling from academic advisors.
The Tutorial Program promotes and enhances students' academic skills and progress by providing individual tutoring, group workshops, study groups, credit courses and intensive special programs. The Athletic Study Center has between 50-60 tutors on staff per semester to guarantee that students receive the best possible support. Tutorial sessions are also offered at night enabling student-athletes to receive help after practices when they have more time to devote to studying.
The Advising Program offers a broad range of services to meet the unique needs of student-athletes, including assistance in understanding and complying with University, college and NCAA requirements, developing time management skills and resolving personal issues unique to student-athletes. During the freshman year, advisors typically try to help student-athletes make a successful academic transition from high school, while during the sophomore year, they assist student-athletes in making decisions on appropriate majors and fields of study. For the final two years, advisors take more of an exiting approach, ensuring that proper academic progress is being made towards graduation while referring juniors and seniors to areas on campus that can help with internships, graduate school applications and career planning.
In addition, the Athletic Study Center offers a Summer Bridge adjunct program designed to help ease the transition from high school to college. The primary components for the program include writing and math workshops, an advising workshop, study skills seminars and an evening tutorial program. Another special program offered is Peer Advising. Peer advisors provide academic and campus life guidance for new intercollegiate athletes. They are selected from junior and senior student-athletes who assist in developing programs to further address the needs of student-athletes.