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mission

Central to the mission of Intercollegiate Athletics is the opportunity for student-athletes to experience a well-rounded educational program at The Pennsylvania State University. The mission of the Morgan Academic Support Center for Student-Athletes will be to provide appropriate academic support services and University Faculty Senate, NCAA, and Big Ten Conference academic eligibility information to all student-athletes. These services and information should assist student-athletes in achieving their academic goals while participating in a demanding NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletic program. These services should also ensure progress toward graduation through timely completion of degree requirements for baccalaureate and graduate programs.

In addition, the mission of the Center will be to take a national leadership role in the area of academic support services for student-athletes, to influence legislative action that stresses academic excellence, and to ensure administrative integrity in academic matters affecting student-athletes.

The Center will provide programming opportunities and support services to further enhance the cultural diversity mission of the University, including workshops, educational experiences, and counseling. Promotion of equal opportunities for all student-athletes, regardless of gender, gender orientation, race, national origin, ethnicity, grant-in-aid status, or sport priority, is an important focus of the Center's function.


General Functions of the MASCSA
The general functions of the Center are categorized according to three groups: (a) the student-athletes, (b) the coaches, and (c) the athletic/University administration. The list of functions that follows is descriptive but not exhaustive.

Student-Athletes
• Assist all student-athletes in defining academic/career goals, in developing an academic plan which supports these goals, and in assuming the responsibility for the attainment of same.
• Encourage the student-athlete to take pride in achievement and reach full potential, both as a student and as an athlete.
• Support the role of the respective college academic adviser; encourage the student to seek academic advice and direction frequently from this adviser.
• Promote an understanding of the University's academic policies and procedures and reinforce the importance of working within them.
• Emphasize the importance of normal degree progress in the curriculum of enrollment, while maintaining normal progress for the purpose of athletic eligibility; provide to the student, each semester, an assessment of progress and counsel accordingly.
• Refer students, as appropriate, to other University units for academic or personal assistance.
• Provide special group and individual programs for student-athletes to enhance their academic performance and their ability to cope effectively with the simultaneous demands of academic programs and athletics. These include tutorials, study halls, intrusive counseling, workshops, and individual projects on study skills, time management, and stress management.

Coaches
• Apprise coaches of University/NCAA/Big Ten policies relative to admission and academic progress of student-athletes.
• Identify and explain department procedures through which appropriate team rosters and other required data are conveyed in a timely fashion to the Center.
• Provide to a coach each semester, or as necessary in the interim, an assessment of the academic progress of all team members; identify support activities for each coach that would assist in dealing with potential problems in academic achievement for an individual student.
• Support the coaches in their recruitment efforts by providing, upon request, individual academic information conferences with recruits.

Athletic/University Administration
• Keep appropriate administrators informed of Center activities, anticipated problems and needs, as well as academic issues which may affect student-athletes.
• Monitor the eligibility status of each student-athlete; prepare and distribute eligibility status reports to appropriate administrators each semester; review these reports with the NCAA Faculty Representative to resolve discrepancies.
• Assure that all student-athletes are accurately identified on the AIS data base; serve as the custodian of these data and screens.
• Design various studies and prepare pertinent reports for the University, the NCAA, and the Big Ten that reflect an academic profile of student-athletes and identify past and current status as well as trends.
• Keep the respective athletic directors informed of requests issued by the Center to coaches and enlist their support for follow-up; provide, at least annually, to the respective athletic directors an evaluation that addresses a coach's effectiveness in supporting the academic achievement of his/her student-athletes and the mission of the Center.
• Develop and maintain effective liaison relationships with the University Faculty Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics and other appropriate units within the University.
• Manage and ensure the academic integrity of the tutorial program; conduct continual evaluations as well as special studies about effectiveness of tutorials; prepare semester reports for appropriate administrators.
• Monitor the book loan program with the assistance of the Penn State Bookstore; ensure return of books and appropriate credit or billing for non-returned books. Prepare semester accountings for appropriate administrative offices.


For additional information about the MASCSA, contact Russ Mushinsky at 814-865-0407 or rxm45@psu.edu.

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