Advisors find a way to support Vikings

LarryBrister_-6213The nearly 300 students-athletes at PSU have a tough goal to reach during our remote spring term – meet or beat the record they set for grade-point average winter term.

As a group, PSU student-athletes earned a 3.29 GPA last term. Thirty-two players earned a perfect 4.0. Thirty-six players made the Dean’s list. The women’s tennis team served up a combined 3.85 GPA. 

It’s a terrific set of accomplishments by students who keep some of the most hectic schedules on campus, juggling practices, training, games, travel, mandatory study hall, and classes. And now, just like every other student on campus, they’re trying to keep up with classes from a distance during an unprecedented disruption.

Enter the three academic advisors assigned to student-athletes. These professionals must understand the academic requirements for every department on campus. Where in the past they would have met in person with student-athletes, they’re now relying on the phone and Zoom to keep students on track this quarter and help them plan for future terms. This provides important structure and accountability to students-athletes who have temporarily lost the anchor and outlet of sports.

“If they are at this level as a Division 1 athlete, more than likely they have been playing this sport since they were about 10,” says Val Cleary, director of athletics. “This is the first time in their life that they have not been able to play their sport.”

Vikings are mourning what they lost this academic year –  as are all of us. But academic excellence won’t be among the losses they reckon with – and that’s largely thanks to the support of their advisors.

So to our high-achieving Viking athletes and the advisors who provide them critical support: I see you. I respect you. And I think you make a great team.

 

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