Research Focus: Excellence Beyond Athletics: Best Practices for Enhancing Black Male Student Athletes’ Educational Experiences and Outcomes
Postsecondary institutions in the United States (U.S.) including member institutions of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are charged with the responsibility of cultivating positive learning environments where all students have an opportunity to excel regardless of their demographic backgrounds (e.g., race, socioeconomic status, etc.). However, one subgroup of students that these institutions have persistently been unable to retain and graduate at rates comparable to their peers is Black male student athletes.
Previous research has cited unwelcoming campus climates, inadequate academic support, and an overemphasis on athletics as key factors that contribute Black male student athletes’ academic underperformance and negative psychosocial experiences at these institutions. As a result, the purpose of this presentation is to present a series of strategies and recommendations for enhancing Black male student athletes’ educational experiences and holistic development at postsecondary institutions in the U.S.
A review of scholarly literature on Black male student athletes, college student development theories, and student athlete support programs was conducted to identify best practices related to the phenomena. An analysis of the literature led to the creation of the Excellence Beyond Athletics (EBA) approach. The EBA approach consists of the following six holistic development principles (HDPs): 1) self-identity awareness, 2) positive social engagement, 3) active mentorship, 4) academic achievement, 5) career aspirations, and 6) effective time management skills.