CHAMPS Life Skills
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  12/08/2006

During the 2014-2015 academic year all sports combined did over 6,000 hours of community service

The Life Skills Program has incorporated a built-in structure for our student-athletes to earn points by attending the many wonderful student development programs offered through the Living Learning Community within the Residence Halls. Research states that students who engage and make connections within their first semester of college have higher levels of college satisfaction and tend to persist and stay in college. Our goal is to have first-year student-athletes connect with their peers (outside of Athletics) and concentrate on learning the campus and academic culture to better help prepare them for their later years in college.

New Mexico State University's Athletic Department has established a plan in which all student-athletes are expected to complete a 15-hour/credit requirement of Community Service. With this requirement in effect, Aggie student-athletes have been involved in the community more often than in previous years. As a way of giving back to the Las Cruces community, Aggie student-athletes visited local schools to speak to the children about making good choices, getting good grades and striving to be the best they can be. Here are more activities that Aggie student-athletes volunteered their time with: Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Lions Club, bookstore signings, the Whole Enchilada Fiesta, middle schools, sports clinics, Red Ribbon Week at local schools, homecoming for NMSU, marathons, gun shows, La Casa, Salvation Army (Dress-the-Child), Special Olympics, pep rallies at local schools, "The Big Event," WAC Tournament Family Day, "Girls Can," Spring/Fall convocation, Girl Scouts, Las Montanas High School, El Caldito Soup Kitchen and at the Nature Center.

How do student-athletes get informed so they can sign up to participate in community service activities?

Below is the process for informing student-athletes of events:

  • Emails will be sent out to Coaches, SAAC & Student-Athletes on any community service events that need volunteers. A Compliance form is filled out by the coordinator of that event prior to the participation of the student-athlete. In addition, each team SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Council) rep or coach will make an announcement of the upcoming event. Finally, emails will be sent out to coaches and student-athletes a couple days in advance as a reminder of the event. Erica Flores, Life Skills Coordinator receives information about community service events from off campus resources (schools, agencies, organizations, etc), Residence Hall staff coordinating programs, NMSU departments and other requests.

How will my participation in these programs be recorded in order to receive my community services points?

Below is the following protocol for earning your 15-hour Community Service points:

  • At each event, there will be a sign-up sheet, either by the Life Skills Coordinator, coordinator of that event, a SAAC rep, or designated student-athlete. In order to receive Community Service credits, you must sign to verify your attendance.
  • If a student-athlete performs community service you must 1) Inform your coach ahead of time so they can coordinate with the Life Skills Coordinator, 2) Receive a signature from the coordinator of the event to verify your participation.

Challenging Athletes' Minds For Personal Success

The mission of the I-A Athletic Directors' Association is to prepare student-athletes for life as productive citizens in our society.

The CHAMPS program focuses on five commitments that each Division I program is making in the growth and development of student-athletes.

A Commitment to Academic Excellence: Ensures that each student-athlete will have the opportunity to excel in their chosen field of study and that athletic programs will provide services to support and enhance the academic success of student-athletes.

A Commitment to Athletic Excellence: Ensures that each student-athlete will be provided facilities, coaching staff, and support services that will enable them to excel in a broad program of sports sponsored by the university. The fundamental principles of these programs will be based on a commitment to sportsmanship, equity, fair play, and integrity.

A Commitment to Personal Development: Ensures that each student-athlete participating in a CHAMPS program will be provided opportunities to focus on personal growth issues such as values clarification, goal setting, fiscal responsibility, decision making, and stress management. Each of these components will be focused toward developing a healthy lifestyle.

A Commitment to Service: A challenge to student-athletes to give back to communities and individuals that are in need. With a clearly defined program of service, our student-athletes will be given opportunities to develop the foundation for a lifelong commitment of volunteerism.

A Commitment to Career Development: Places a priority on preparing for life after college sports. The program acquaints students with the job search process, provides networking opportunities, and ultimately assists with job placement. As our programs work toward the development of the total person, the ultimate goal is to develop individuals who will have rewarding careers and productive lifestyles.

‹ New Mexico State Aggie Athletics

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