Date Approved

6-25-2019

Embargo Period

7-31-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Higher Education

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

McCombs, Tyrone

Second Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth

Subject(s)

Women college athletes--Rowan University

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of collegiate freshman female student-athletes at Rowan University. The lived experience refers to the way researchers can view the perceptions of people within the world they exist (Kafle, 2011). The study explored the meaning of female student athletes and attach them to their lived experience as a student-athlete and how they anticipate this experience impact their future college careers. This study interviewed 10 freshman female student athletes and aimed to receive honest and valuable information about the students experience in their first year at Rowan University. The data were then coded and developed three themes that helped answer research questions. The three themes included: transition, support, and toughness. These themes showed these student athletes felt as if the orientation programs provided by Rowan offered the transitional support they needed but there was need for more support from within the athletic department.

This study aimed to be able to gather information and data to show the need for support for freshman female student-athletes throughout their transitions into college and becoming an intercollegiate athlete. Coaches, administrators, and all other athletic support staff will then be able to assist in ways by being more aware and more knowledgeable of the experiences these student-athletes are having.

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