The Intercollegiate Athletic Academic Services program is designed to assist student-athletes in making the best possible academic and personal adjustment to Western Illinois University. The University is committed to promoting both academic and athletic achievement. The Intercollegiate Athletic Academic Services (IAAS) program strives to make basic student services - such as counseling, workshops, and programs - more accessible to student--athletes.
The IAAS staff works closely with coaches, faculty, and student services personnel to help student-athletes better balance the demands of academic responsibilities with participation in athletics. A primary goal is to make student-athletes aware of the various services and resources available to them at the University in order to make the best use of them.
In addition, the IAAS team realizes the Western Illinois student-athletes will face different challenges than that of the ordinary college student. The staff works closely with the student--athlete in tackling "off the field" problems.
The staff works with academic advisers on the scheduling of student--athletes classes to ensure that each course will meet their educational and professional goals. IAAS also provides a computer lab and tutors for student--athletes as needed.
IAAS have proven to be very beneficial to Western Illinois University's student-athletes. While Lisa and her staff oversee the program, the entire coaching staff is actively involved in its day-to-day operation. Together, they achieve their goal of taking care of the student-athlete as a "total person."
Services and Activities
Counseling -- In the event that a student-athlete requires more than a consultation, he or she may be referred to the Counseling Center. The Center provides individual and group counseling for educational, career, and personal concerns. The student's initial contact with the Center will typically be an intake interview in which the student and the counselor make decisions about the type of help needed. Intake appointments are preferably made in advance and are usually scheduled within a day or two of the student's request to see a counselor. Students requesting career counseling may be assigned appropriate tests to aid in the career decision-making. Computer--based career decision-making programs are also available. The Career Library contains information about major, graduate schools, and career options.
Freshman Seminar -- In conjunction with the University General Education Curriculum, the Intercollegiate Athletic Academic Services program offers a freshman seminar (UNIV 100) during the fall semester. This course is designed to help students make a smoother transition from high school into WIU. Course content emphasizes topics of interest to student-athletes. In the course, students will also learn about the various offices and support services on campus. The course is highly encouraged for all first--year freshmen scholarship student--athletes. It may also be available to all other freshmen non-scholarship student-athletes, with the permission of the instructor, Lisa Melz-Jennings.
Workshops and Programs -- Throughout the academic year, a number of workshops focusing on the personal, academic, and career development of student-athletes are offered. Workshops topic include: training for academic success, career development, drug testing, eating disorders, nutritional supplements, resume writing, time management and the job search process.
Laptop computers -- In the event that a student athlete will be off campus due to athletic competition, laptop computers are available for check out. The department has nine laptop computers that can be requested by the student athletes. These computers are available on a first come first served basis.
Under the direction of the Senior Associate Athletic Director, the athletic academic advisors and mentors evaluate the academic performance of student-athletes. Athletic academic advisors and mentors assist student-athletes with any questions or concerns regarding their studies. In addition, they also provide access for student-athletes to counseling, advising, problem resolution and tutorial assistance.
Academic advisors in athletics should not be confused with academic advisors in academic departments. Student-athletes are encouraged to take advantage of both services.
Required Meetings With Academic Advisors/Athletic Mentors -- All student-athletes who are not in good academic standing are required to meet with an athletic academic advisor or mentor on a weekly basis. Meetings are held in the Athletic Academic Services Office in Brophy Hall, Room 116. These meetings are intended to assist the student-athlete to achieve a higher level of academic success.
Required Meetings With Academic Coordinator/Athletic Mentors -- All student--athletes who are not in good academic standing are required to meet with an athletic academic mentor on a weekly basis. The Athletic Academic Coordinator schedules meetings at the beginning of each semester. Meetings are held in the Athletic Academic Advising Office in Brophy Hall, Room 115. These meetings are intended to assist the student-athlete to achieve a higher level of academic success. These meetings will continue until the student-athlete is academically performing at a satisfactory level.
Academic Objectives for Intercollegiate Athletics
- To achieve a departmental GPA comparable to the undergraduate student population in both Fall and Spring semesters
- To finish among the top three of all Summit League and Missouri Valley Football Conference institutions in the number of student-athletes earning selections to the All-Academic team
- For at least 50% of the student athletes to earn a 3.0 or above cumulative team GPA for both Fall and Spring semester
- To have a student-athlete graduation rate above the undergraduate student body rate