Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Willis, Shari L.

Committee Member 1

Johnson, Ane T.

Committee Member 2

Bullard, Joanne


academics, athletic adminstrators, athletics, coaching, high school, student athlete


High school athletes; Academic achievement


Health and Physical Education | Secondary Education and Teaching


Athletics are a strong component in the educational experiences of students. Without the proper social support, student athletes are presenting academically through a deficit lens (Cohen & Wills, 1985; Comeaux & Harrison, 2011; House, Umberson, & Landis, 1988; Sarason, Sarason,& Pierce, 1990). Coaches, teachers, and administrators must work collaboratively to enhance the education of student athletes. As a result, high schools can better prepare their student athletes for post-secondary life specifically through the significant relationships formed between athletic personnel and their athletes.

The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore athletic administrators' and coaches' practices related to fostering academic excellence through athletics in the high school environment (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). Currently, there is only credit requirements for student athletes in New Jersey high schools. The data presented and analyzed in this study suggests that athletic personnel contribute to the academic lives and behaviors of student athletes by the nature of their positions. Collaboratively espousing academic priority and socially supporting the student athlete maximizes success and fosters education through athletics. To better serve the needs of this population, high schools could implement a framework for academic success specifically for student athletes.