Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

October 2019

NCAA Announces AASP Grant Recipients

By Dave Ramont

Established in 2012 by the NCAA Executive Committee, the Accelerating Academic Success Program (AASP) includes grants for qualifying schools and student-athletes, which are disbursed to assist schools in improving the academic success of their student-athletes. Schools eligible to apply for the program are non-Football Bowl Subdivision schools in Division l.

The NCAA’s core mission is to provide opportunities for learning, and schools are held accountable for the academic success of student-athletes through the tracking of academic progress. As schools work to meet the NCAA’s academic standards, the NCAA provides support by way of the AASP. The program lends a hand to Division l schools as they develop systems and programs that aim to ensure academic success and increase graduation rates.

Recently, the NCAA announced the recipients of its seventh round of AASP funding, which will support academic programs that help student-athletes earn their degrees. Those receiving the NCAA AASP Initiatives Grants this year include: Fairleigh Dickinson University ($100,000), Youngstown State University ($100,000) and UT Martin ($99,314). All three are single-year grants.

The grants will be distributed and used to fund increased academic support services staffing and space; technology upgrades (software and hardware); career planning; professional development; and increased availability of summer financial aid for student-athletes.

Tiese Roxbury, NCAA assistant director of research, assessment and academic success, said they’re excited to add these three schools to the AASP family. “Having them on board expands our reach, and we look forward to seeing the amazing transformations that take place over the next academic year.”

Each recipient can request up to $100,000 for the one-year grant, with participating schools being required to match the grant dollars with direct funds of 20% of the amount requested. Schools can also request AASP Comprehensive Grants, which are a maximum of $300,000 per year for three years. With these grants, participating schools are required to match grant dollars each year of the program, with direct funds or in-kind contributions. The school must commit to a 25% match during the first year, 50% in the second year and 75% in the third year.

The AASP grants provided to schools can serve as a catalyst, creating other positive outcomes that end up reaching beyond the initial goal of the program, which is to affect academic success. In fact, other on-campus areas have enjoyed success through the program. These areas include building student-athlete confidence, leadership skills and time-management skills; raising expectations of athletes, coaches and staff; staff workload; recruiting; and community support. School administrators have also reported an increase in campus synergy and an improved campus culture.

The AASP also includes an annual conference, which offers administrators the chance to delve into a broad set of topics aimed at enriching their professional development. Topics related to the academic success of college athletes are also addressed.

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