Education & Economic Mobility
Research Report | August 2014

Bridges2Success Scholar Athlete Support Program

James H. Johnson Jr., John P. Evans, Mark McDaniel

A joint project of the center and UNC’s Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise provides a comprehensive intervention model designed to improve the academic standing of male high school athletes recruited for college athletics and their likelihood of academic success.

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The Bridges2Success Scholar Athlete Support Program (B2S) is designed to improve the academic standing of male high school athletes and their likelihood of academic success should they be recruited to play college level sports.

B2S leverages evidenced-based best practices from four distinct but inter-related programs and integrates them into a comprehensive
intervention model that addresses the full range of challenges and barriers that athletes, particularly those who graduate from under-resourced high schools, face in making the transition to Division 1 level sports and the rigors of college level academic work.

B2S targets prospective athletes in middle school and educates them and their parents/caregivers about the recently revised NCAA requirements for initial eligibility for students entering college in August 2016.1 It is critically important for young athletes, their parents/caregivers, and their coaches to be knowledgeable before the end of middle school about what will be required academically and what activities need to be managed carefully in order to be eligible for athletically related financial aid. The purpose is to be ready so that 1) a course of study can be planned that will meet the new requirements and 2) all concerned stakeholders will be aware of the requirements and risks/pitfalls of the recruiting process that precedes the signing of a national letter of intent.

Simultaneously, B2S will work with those who engage in high school athletics in a rigorous set of interventions, spanning grades nine through twelve, which are designed to hone both their “hard” academic skills and their “soft” interpersonal skills—not only to meet the minimal NCAA eligibility requirements but also to succeed academically and in other aspects of college life.



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