Leaders in their communities
Data from the NCAA’s Growth, Opportunities, Aspirations and Learning of Students in College, (GOALS) study show student-athletes at Division II institutions are more likely to seek community leadership and involvement than their Divisions I and III counterparts.
A higher percentage of Division II student-athletes said that being a leader in their community was very important to them (34 percent, compared with 32 percent among Division I respondents and 28 percent for Division III).
Similarly, 46 percent of Division II respondents said working with young people in a mentorship or community-engagement role was very important to them, compared with 41 percent each in Divisions I and III.
The results support Division II’s community-engagement initiative that positions athletics as the “front porch” that links universities with communities. Since Division II emphasized the community approach as part of its strategic-positioning platform two years ago, the effort has gained momentum within the membership. A Web site devoted specifically to community engagement in fact at www.diicommunity.org, has attracted 186 “ideas that work” and in February registered an all-time high of 6,425 visits.
The GOALS study queried about 21,000 current student-athletes about their current athletics, academic and social experiences in college. More than 5,600 of those respondents were from Division II institutions.
A partner project called the Study of College Outcomes and Recent Experiences (SCORE) surveyed more than 8,500 former student-athletes about their college sports and educational experiences, their current career and work experience, their health and well-being, daily life experiences and various demographic items. That study included about 1,200 student-athletes who participated in Division II sports.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association