learning communities, student-athletes


There is a growing recognition among researchers and practitioners alike that student-athletes are an "at risk" group of students in higher education today. More specifically, research has identified several specific negative conditions that impact student-athletes and threaten their success in college. Learning communities, on the other hand, have a longstanding and successful approach to supporting new college students, and many of the traditional benefits of learning community participation line up closely with the needs of student athletes. From our perspective, this close alignment presents an opportunity to leverage the powerful potential of learning communities to support a group of students who have not traditionally participated in these programs. In this piece, we put forth a research-based rationale, as well as a call for action, to consider the needs of student athletes in learning community design and recruit them into these unique programs.

Geoffrey P. Mamerow is the Director of Institutional and Market Research at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, OH.

Kristina M. Navarro is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the School of Education, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.