Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling

Document Type



The purpose of this study was to understand what, if any effect, an intervention such as a summer bridge program or course designed for incoming student-athletes had on the participants. Specifically, this study used Gaston-Gales (2004) Student-Athlete Motivation towards Sport and Academics Questionnaire (SAMSAQ) as a pre and post-intervention measure that examined the effect of the Student-Athlete Development Course 101 (SADC 101), which was designed and implemented mainly by athletics department personnel. The three constructs that the SAMSAQ instrument examined were: 1) Academic Motivation (AM), 2.) Student-Athlete Motivation (SAM), and 3.) Career-Athletic Motivation (CAM). The sample population (N=60) included only incoming student-athletes that were enrolled in the SADC 101 course during summer I (n=21), summer II (n=14), or the fall (n=24).

After each student completed the pre and post-SAMSAQ survey, as well as the SADC 101 course, select student-athletes participated in semi-structured interviews (approximately 30% of the sample population). Data from the interviews were categorized through identified themes. Themes constructed from the data include: a) The complexity of the intersectionality of the student-athlete experience, professional career aspirations, and motivation factors, b) academic motivation, c) student-athlete motivation, d) career-athletic motivation, e) lessons learned from the SADC 101 course, and f) curriculum considerations for the SADC 101 course.

The statistical analysis indicated the participants’ motivation towards sport and academics did not show a statistically significant change as a result of being enrolled in the SADC 101 course. The qualitative data analysis revealed that students were interested in exploring and connecting with campus departments outside of the athletics departments, particularly in areas such as major exploration, personal finance basics, and student organizations. The results of this study may be utilized to develop competencies and core curriculum requirements for institutions and/or athletic departments implementing a summer bridge program and/or course for incoming student-athletes.



Committee Chair

Kennedy, Eugene