Is student-athlete experience in your athletic department consistent with the mission of the university? Are best practices identified and shared across teams? Do you have clear insights from student-athletes about expectations and where those expectations are met, exceeded, or need to be addressed? Do you understand why student-athletes transfer out of your program?

Now More Than Ever

Now more than ever, the importance of engaging students athletes in confidential and impartial experience assessments is critical. Administrators need to better understand if the student athlete experience adequately reflects the mission of the institution as a whole.

Information is Key

With the complexity of intercollegiate athletics, it is challenging for administrators and coaches to know, with confidence, that student-athlete experience across all teams is what it should be. Mission statements, goals, and objectives provide a starting framework but the true test is neutral assessment of teams and the athletic department to safely identify necessary information for athletic department and university administrators to have confidence in staying the course or to successfully adapt, where needed.

A primary challenge for all major athletic departments is appropriately gauging student-athlete engagement in the university and academic community and their perception of their respective athletic experiences.  The vast majority of institutions do not conduct appropriate reviews of their student-athlete bodies.

Student-Athlete Experience & Engagement Review (EER)

The benefits of effectively executing a student-athlete experience and engagement protocol include:

  • Data around athlete’s perceptions of the athletic department
  • Data related to how coaches and administrators are interacting with their athletes
  • Data related to how athletes are interacting with the rest of the university community

Moreover, a properly executed student athlete experience and engagement protocol can provide university leadership with:

  • Early warning data related to potential student athlete/program/coach issues
  • Data designed to help identify those athletes most likely to acclimatize to their universities culture

The power of an Experience and Engagement Review lies in allowing universities to proactively manage their athletes and coaching staffs.  It also promotes the alignment of academic and athletic principles based on real data.

Carefully designed assessment is a necessity to:

  • Identify best practices
  • Identify problem areas
  • Align resources to areas of greatest need and impact

The Key is Quality Data

The quality of the data collected by an Experience and Engagement Review is directly related to the following data collection principles:

  • Confidential (athlete’s cannot be identified based on their comment/feedback)
  • Impartial (not related to the Athletic Department)
  • Independent (not related to the University)
  • Multi-modal data collection (e.g. qualitative, quantitative)


Assessment is cost effective and an important step in preventing the types of issues that keep administrators and coaches up at night. Universities are renowned for only responding to issues instigated by a crisis.  Crisis can be valuable.  However, they are extremely expensive both in terms of actual dollars but also in staff morale and brand impact.  Moreover, athletic department administration acting on real data, can typically proactively pre-empt many issues before they explode.

Alignment is Critical

Once an assessment is done, SCI works closely with you to identify an effective path for ensuring best practices are protected and areas of concern are addressed.  SCI partners with internal resources to ensure that all policies, practices, and procedures align and are consistent in supporting a superior student-athlete experience.

Contact SCI to discuss assessment options for ensuring student-athlete experience