NCAA News Archive - 2008

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Leaders in their communities

While community involvement and working with young people are important to almost all student-athletes, recent studies show that Division II student-athletes regard it as a priority even more than their Division I and III counterparts.
Mar 7, 2008 1:28:07 AM

By Gary Brown
The NCAA News

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, 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.

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