Sean Hendricks

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

McCombs, Tyrone


College athletes; Universities and colleges--Admission


Higher Education Administration


In higher education, it is the role of the institution to ensure the success of all students, even those that failed to meet general admission requirements (Tinto, 1993). This explanatory sequential mixed methods study explored the challenges associated with enrolling student-athletes at a Division III institution with less than desirable admission standards (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). This study examined 199 specially admitted student-athletes that enrolled at Kerry State between 2007 and 2011 and found that increasing tuition, a lack of support and proper advising, time constraints, and issues related to student engagement have contributed to the lack of success from this population. Additionally, the enrollment standards at Kerry State have dramatically increased over the last five years, leading to the institution continually enrolling a more academically prepared student body. This has placed specially admitted student-athletes at Kerry State University in a disadvantageous position. To better serve the needs of this population, Kerry State could implement a support program to assist this group as they navigate their educational pathways. This support program would include offering a college success course during specially admitted student-athlete's first semester to help facilitate the transition from high school to college level academics. Additionally, the institution could increase communication between the athletic department and advising center to better serve the academic needs of this population.