ACADEMIC REFORM IN JUNIOR/COMMUNITY COLLEGES
(Monday, June 8, 9:30 a.m. .10:30 a.m.)
We're going to have three presenters today. Nancy Mitchell, the assistant executive director for Legislative Services for the NCAA will be here. She's been involved with the NCAA for six and one-half years. She is an undergraduate from the University of Kansas and has a law degree from the University of Kansas. Her f1fSt experience with the NCAA was being a staff member for the NCAA Two- Year Relations Committee. This is her third visit with us as two-year college administrators. We'll also have Joann Rust, the academic advisor from Pima Community College. She is a leader in our Two- Year College Association, a leader in the Arizona area and has been involved with college athletics for over 20 years. She has spent 12 years at Pima Community College. Joann will talk about the impact of the legislation. Our third speaker is Bob Dinaberg, the athletic director from Santa Barbara City College. Bob has been involved in college athletics for 34 years. He's been a leader in different organizations in California and here at the national level.
Nancy will talk about the history and explain the rule. We're primarily interested in the Satisfactory Progress Rule and in particular, the 25, 50, 75 aspect of it This is a new rule that's been instituted. There's always been a Satisfactory Progress Rule, but this new aspect will be explained today. We will have time for questions following our speakers.
Thank you, Rick. As Rick mentioned, I want to go over the main components of what we have come to know as the 25, 50, 75 percent rule. That's what we calI it at the national office. The actual legislative site for it is Bylaw 14.521. It is important for two-year college administrators to know about this because it will defmitely affect your student-athletes who are interested in going to Division I institutions. This is a Division I-specific rule, so remember that Divisions II and III have not adopted this rule.
Prior to the 1991 NCAA convention, the basic requirement that related to a specific degree program was that a student-athlete was required to designate a specific degree program by the beginning of the third year of his or her collegiate emollment, and that's collegiate emollment in any college, not just at an NCAA school. So, if someone has spent two years at a two-year college and then they come into an NCAA school, they would be required to designate a degree program at that time. At the 1991 convention, legislation was adopted to require a student-athlete entering
his or her fourth year of collegiate emollment to have completed at least 50 percent of the total course work required for his or her degree program. That was effective for those student-athletes entering a collegiate institution August of 1991, or after. It required 50 percent of the course work for that degree program to be completed by the time they entered their fourth year of collegiate emollment.
At the 1992 convention, as part of a number of academic reform proposals, legislation was adopted to require a student-athlete entering his or her third year of collegiate enrollment to have completed at least 25 percent of the course work required for their degree program. It's sort of expanding on the 50 percent rule. It's going back to the third year and saying that at the time you enter your third year of collegiate enrollment, you have to have 25 percent of the course work completed.
Finally, legislation was adopted, also at the 92 convention, and to even further expand on it, to say that at the beginning of a student-athlete's fourth or subsequent years of collegiate emollment, they had to have completed at least 75 percent of their course work. If you put it all together, it means that by the beginning of the third year of collegiate emollment, a student-athlete has to have designated a specific degree program and they also have to have completed at least 25 percent of their course work for that specific degree program. That's going to require some student-athletes to really think about what degree program they might want to go into. They need to be thinking about it fairly early because they do have to have 25 percent completed by that time. It's important to know that that's 25 percent of the total course work required for that degree program. It's not just in a major. It's total course work which, obviously, will include a number of electives. It may sound very restrictive, but it may not be as bad as some people are thinking it's going to be.
You've got 25 percent at the beginning of the third year, and 50 percent at the beginning of the fourth year and 75 percent at the fifth and subsequent years. I think I mis-spoke earlier, but it's 25, 50 and 75, third, fourth, fifth and subsequent years. It does affect transfer students as well as continuing students. That's why I said, it's really important for a two-year college administrator and even administrators from Divisions II and III that may have student-athletes that are going to be transferring to Division I, to keep an eye on this rule and to advise the student-
athletes that this is something that's going to start affecting them by the beginning of their third year of collegiate enrollment. That's really the basics of the rule. I don't think it's going to be that hard to apply, but I think it's going to be important for people to know that it's out there and to advise their student-athletes early if they are interested in going to a Division I institution.
There are a number of other academic reform proposals adopted at the 92 convention, but I think that this potentially would have the greatest impact on all of you and your college administrators.
That was short and sweet and I hope it made sense. I'm going to go ahead and let the next speaker talk and at the end, we'll have some time for questions.
Perhaps with all of academic refonn, it is probably the single most important and greatest effort that has happened to college athletics in the past 20 years. I personally support and applaud the effort of any new direction that we are taking. However, with change always comes something that is not always easy and it comes with a price to pay. Sometimes the regulation of rules with academic refonn as they are read, they sound very good and they sound like things we can sell to college presidents and they sound like something we can sell to our national organizations, be they the California organizations or the NJCAA. But in doing so, there are some implications that we must take a very careful look at as we're trying to proceed.
If we learned only one thing yesterday from the presentation on the impact of Proposition 48, perhaps it was the clear message with regard to promoting and providing a plan to implement educational support systems which enable student-athletes to adapt to any change of legislation.
Perhaps we should consider our number one challenge then, as we begin to study the 25-50-75 percent rule. The plan has to have three very important components that we take a careful look at One of those would be our philosophy; the second one would be advising and counseling and the third one would be dealing with remediation and remedial courses.
With regard to philosophy, most of our colleges which is not uncommon to you, have a mission statement that I'm sure looks very much like the mission statement at your junior or community college. In that mission statement, there is only one objective that addresses itself to the transferrable student going to a four-year school. There are eight other very viable student-oriented objectives. Many of them involve the individual's core learning and commitment to education as a lifelong process being the number one mission at Puma Community College providing work-based programs which prepares students to compete in a never-changing technological society. So, with one of nine of our missions being centered around the transfer student, you can see that we have developed in junior and community colleges, a system that only deals in part with the section of that rule that sounds very good, very easy to follow and very easy to implement
Our challenge in terms of philosophy needs to be narrow in scope for those individuals who desire, or who may have the athletic potential to go to the next level, specifically, Division I. This gentle brainwashing may come across as a self-fulftlling prophecy to certain student-athletes. By that, I mean that if we are always harping on and if we are always talking about getting student-athletes to perform in core curriculum which only allows them to transfer to two-year schools, we are, literally, bating all students along only to complete perhaps one out of nine of most of our missions. We need to be careful to know that there are other viable programs that other student-athletes should be taking a careful look at in terms of the technological programs that will benefit them in their career choices, perhaps more dominantly than in an athletic choice. Sometimes we're rule driven and we should be cognizant of that philosophically.
Advising is probably the most difficult of our tasks ahead of us, having established whatever philosophy we're going to take in regard to these courses. We spoke yesterday, and it is probably instituted in most junior colleges who have academic advisors such as myself, we talk about the educational plan. According to the Journal of Higher Education, individuals still change their major or career choice on dIe average of three times throughout a three-year period of time. At our particular institution, there are 115 degree programs. Only 20 percent of those degree programs are for choices and transferrable areas of study. Forty-seven of those are basic and technical certificates. Forty-five are associate degrees for direct employment opportunities. In 1991, 83 percent of the student-athletes at Pima worked 15 or more hours per week at a job, which dramatically affects a load for individuals that might be recommended to succeed.
Finally, with relation to advising, if a student-athlete completes the 25 percent at the beginning of the third year which equals approximately 31 to 33 semester credits and if that student goes on to complete half of that, or about 62 to 64 at the conclusion of the third year, he or she is on a five or six-year program in obtaining a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree. This is not unusual, however, we need to remind our student-athletes as we are advising them, that now our challenge becomes greater in terms of placing student-athletes. We not only have to fmd
institutions that would like to have them compete for two more years, but now, we have to fmd institutions that are willing to commit the fifth year educational program. I applaud the legislation in one effect, but in another, it should be accompanied by a rule that says not only is this in effect and it matches what most students are going to school with, but now we are going to force institutions, if you recruit any athlete not just a junior college athlete, but I speak for us because that's who we're dealing with, then perhaps the fifth year ought to be rule that is an implementation because it's inherent in the rule of satisfaction.
The last area is an area we talked about at meetings yesterday. It is that area of remediation. At Pima College, approximately 90 percent of all incoming students are required to take one or more courses in the remedial area by virtue of their assessment tests as they enter our institution. This could escalate anywhere from three credits to 19 credits which, in some individual instances, could be a full semester of work. Advisors at Pima are taught to
help students create schedules that if a student is remedial in all three areas --reading, writing and mathematics, they should not take anyone transferrable core AA degree requirement until at least their reading and writing scores have met the college level.
We, therefore, will be challenged to create academic advisement which enables the student-athlete to fully understand that he/she is beginning a very long process and how long it will take to complete transferrable degree credits, that a change of career choices or change in schedule could cause them not only to become ineligible, but may also cause them not to be recmitable at Division I institutions and, it is possible to remain eligible for all of our junior college athletics and not necessarily be recmitable at the Division I level.
I had hoped to earmark and pick out of those three areas in the form of a brainstorming way that you might now look at those three areas and identify far more challenges that may be in front of us.
Take a pro-active stance in terms of reform and not a reactive stance so that you're not left adapting to a rule, you have already put a plan in effect that you can effectively advise and help student-athletes. Thank you.
Carlisle Carter is passing out some sheets which I think is an interesting part of it This is a brand new rule and what we need as athletic administrators is a plan of how can we deal with this new rule. This new rule is a compromise that came up and it is certainly a lot better for us and for our athletes. But, we need some strategies to deal with it in our institutions. I'd like to go through some ideas that I have. I've talked to a few athletic administrators and counselors throughout the country to get some of their ideas and share them with you. From this, you'll probably come up with your own ideas.
The first point is something that we should realize in the third year, when the athletes will have to have 31-32 units towards a degree. That won't be nearly as difficult in their fourth year when they need 61-62 units towards graduation. That will be tough. That's where I see the crises occur. Quite a few of them will be ready to go to the third year, but the fourth year is going to be a problem.
The focus has to change. Many of us have basically had our focus on eligibility. We have to move to a focus on college graduation. A colleague of mine in California talked about going into a room with the football team where the football coach was giving a lecture to the incoming freshmen. He had an academic program on the wall for all new freshmen to take. Every freshmen should take the same program. That person was probably emphasizing eligibility far beyond graduation. That's changed now. That focus is very important. I realize that many people who come to community colleges will get benefits from participation and their goal is not for graduation. If we and our coaches focus on the end result, it will help us.
The next responsibility is to inform the athlete of the rule. This sounds simple. Athletes really don't understand the rules at the high school level. One of the speakers said that all of the information the athletes got about four-year transfer rules came from four-year coaches. It's been my experience dealing with four-year coaches that many of them really don't understand the rules themselves. When I want to know about a four-year rule, I usually call Nancy to find out what the rule is. We have to anticipate that the young men and women who are recruited into our institutions really don't have an understanding of the rules. It's our obligation, even though it may hurt us in recruiting, to inform the athletes that this is the realistic rule and this is your chance to matriculate to a four-year school. Information and information early is another important factor.
In this complicated framework of what it takes to matriculate to a four-year college, magnified by the various NCAA rules, we need a qualified academic advisor to advise our student-athletes. If nothing else, we could use our coaches, who obviously, have a vested interest in this. It's so much better to have a qualified person. Not an of us can have counselors who are trained in the NCAA rules and our own rules. But one person should be assigned to that task who understands the rules and be able to present them to athletes.
Another important factor is dIe declaration of an academic major. As a goal. I would recommend dIat by dIe end of dIe first year all of our student-adIletes should select an academic major. Many of dIem change dIeir majors
many times, but it would certainly be helpful to them. This is the one difficulty that we have compared to the four- year school, because as they go to a four-year school as freshmen, they can see the various majors in that college. Now, they not only have to pick a major, but they have to think about what institution they might b'ansfer to. Some institutions teach a three-unit course in academic guidance which is transferrable. If you're lucky enough to actually teach a course in guidance where someone can be helped in picking a major and have those units b'ansferrable to a four-year school, it is a plus.
We heard talk about the development of an individual education plan. That should come early. That should also be something that the student-athlete should participate in. Allow the student-athlete to be an active participant. Obviously, a guidance counselor should be with that student-athlete. Formulate a plan that the athlete will adhere to. Have some monitoring with athletes in hearing that plan. If the athlete fails courses or changes interests, they'll have to change their plan. In California, that is going to be part of the eligibility process. Unless someone has an individual education plan on fIle, we cannot declare them eligible after they've attended the institution for a year. It sounds like this would be a great tool in helping us reach our goal.
The next point has to do with math and English. How many times do you get students who want to avoid
math and English? You can get them through community college, but they'll never get to that graduation point unless they get the math and English part. We've had students come to our school from the inner city with pretty good grades. They get into some competitive classes and they'll do anything to avoid math and English classes. It's important that you get them on that track from the beginning. Every semester or every term, they should be taking some kind of course to help them with their math requirement and some course to help them with their English requirement
The next step is something that I feel has to be done and that is Articulation Agreements. These are contracts that your colleges have with four-year schools. The courses that are taken at your college will be listed in a contract and the certain schools will say, "Yes, we'll accept English 75 from Miami-Dade to the University of Miami. That will be equivalent to our English 86." Everybody has some type of Articulation Agreement Some of your schools that transfer a lot regular students to one particular college may transfer very few athletes to that college. You may want to start doing some research on your own to find out what schools you can set up these articulation agreements with. When I was a head football coach in the 70s, we transferred many Division I athletes to the University of the Pacific. Yet the number one school where we transferred our normal student body to was the University of
California, Santa Barbara. If you can pick out four or five schools that your institution transfers a lot of people to, I would urge your administration and counselors to start working on some Articulation Agreements with these schools.
The students will then know the units they take at your school will count at the four-year school of their choice.
The final point I would like to mention is the academic register. I'm talking about having a student-athlete come to your college and, in the fIrst year, recommending that they go under 12 units, or whatever it is at your college, each term. Their five-year clock doesn't start by doing this. That's a major advantage. They can retake the SAT. The biggest advantage is that now you have the opportunity to give the student-athlete the most valuable remedial course work that they need. In that year, that's the time to really get that remedial course worked out.
One of the biggest disadvantages that I hear people talk about is money. They can't afford to go to school if they're not a full-time student. For those of you on scholarship programs, if some of that scholarship money can be directed to the gifted athlete who really needs to be registered that fIrSt year, it would help. There are some fmancial aid funds available. Through research, I found there are financial aid funds available for the part-time students. I listed the fmancial aid package at our school. In California, all colleges are on the Division III concept There's no athletic fmancial aid All fmancial aid, all scholarship money, is the same for all students, depending upon need.
The Pell Grant is federal money that is available to all us. I didn't realize that if a student is enrolled for under 12-units, they can get up to three-quarters of a Pell Grant. There are some monies available that way. There is the Perkins Loan, which is also federal money. If they're enrolled up to over six units, they are allowed loan money through the Perkins Loan. Every one of your states has its own fmancial aid packages that could add to that. You have to figure out your own package. There are ways to get your athletes funded and still keep them part-time.
Some of these steps might apply to a1l of us. If we're innovative and get into these things early, we'll be doing a great service to our athletes. Thank you.
Thank you very much. We'd like to now open the session up to questions to anyone of the panelists. It's a chance to discuss the impact of NCAA legislation in general at the same time.
I'm sure those of you who have been athletic directors for a long time, if you pulled out your job description, this wasn't on it when you first started. Now, it's going to be on job descriptions and getting people to graduate is going to be an important thing. So it's time to inform our students and time to be informed ourselves. If you have questions, please direct them to the panel.