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Student-Athlete Support Services
Courtesy: Denver Athletics  
Release: 09/10/2010

Mission

Student-Athlete Support Services is committed to empowering student-athletes to take charge of their education and life by providing the tools and resources necessary to prepare for life roles. We encourage student-athletes to capitalize upon collegiate and athletic experiences as they become holistic persons.

Philosophy

The Department of Athletics at the University of Denver recognizes that participation in Division I intercollegiate athletics makes exceptional demands on a student-athlete's time and energy. To ensure each student-athlete develops to his/her potential the Department of Athletics is committed to a comprehensive and systematic personal development program designed to reach each student-athlete based on his or her individual needs. The focus of the program is on the individual as a whole person-academically, athletically, socially, and emotionally-and the changing needs and skills of that individual in the years during college and after graduation.

Also considered in the development of this program is the belief that student-athletes at the University of Denver should be integrated into the University community as much as possible. The Student-Athlete Support Services Program integrates existing University services and resources, and where appropriate, creates new initiatives to enhance the student-athlete experience in the areas of academic commitment, personal development, and community service.

Services

The Student-Athlete Support Services program has the individual academic needs of our student-athletes as its primary focus. Through academic enrichment we address the academic issues that face our student-athletes with a developmental, holistic framework in providing services and support. Our philosophy is to empower our student-athletes to take the necessary steps to be successful both in and out of the classroom. The following is a sample of what the Office of Student-Athlete Support Services provides as we assist student-athletes in reaching their academic goals.

Academic Services

Academic Advising
DU student-athletes follow the university academic advising procedures used by the student body. In addition, Student-Athlete Support Services staff work along with the office of the Registrar, to assist student-athletes by monitoring student-athletes' degree progress and eligibility status according to University and NCAA requirements. The staff also works with campus advisers to assist student-athletes with course selection appropriate to the student-athlete's practice and competition schedules. All student-athletes are ultimately responsible for completing the requirements that will lead to a degree and are required to meet with their major advisors each quarter to ensure these requirements are being met.


Referrals to Campus Resources

Student-Athlete Support Services works with a wide array of offices on campus. Because of the frequent interaction of student-athletes with SASS, staff will refer a student-athlete to the appropriate campus resources when appropriate. Resources include, but are not limited to, Disability Services, Counseling Center, sport psychology, Career Center, Learning Effectiveness, and other support services.

Class Absence Letters

Student-athletes are responsible for informing their instructors of any class days to be missed due to athletics events in which they are participating. Student-athletes will be provided with a schedule of travel dates that coincide with class dates and absence policy  to present to instructors. This must be signed by the instructor and returned to the assigned athletics adviser. In the event that you reach post-season play, letters will be sent to instructors informing them of additional missed class dates. It is the responsibility of the student-athlete to make arrangements with instructors regarding any missed lectures, assignments, and/or exams.

Pioneer Experience

Pioneer Experience incorporates NCAA's CHAMPS Life Skills programming to assist student-athletes in becoming well-rounded individuals.

Starting with Pioneer Beginnings this program is designed to prepare incoming freshmen and transfer student-athletes for the challenges and rewards of student life at the University of Denver. The seminars are implemented with the goal of assisting student-athletes in transitioning to collegiate life and attaining success throughout their career. They will learn about their values, motivation, and conceptualizations of their surroundings. Guest speakers from the University faculty, athletics staff, and community will address personal development concerns, such as time management, leadership, and self-esteem. These seminars are held throughout a student-athlete's first year.

The Sophomore and Junior Experience is a program that helps student-athletes start to take a larger look at the rest of their life with career planning and implementation. Sophomore student-athletes will have an opportunity to listen to panels of executives to learn about different job markets and learn how to get their foot in the door. They will start to build their resumes and learn ways to market their athletic skills to future employers. Junior student-athletes will have an opportunity to learn best practices in networking, resume/cover letter writing, and interview skills along with finding internship opportunities for the summer before their final year.

The Pioneer Playbook is the program for our Senior student-athletes where they will be able to take their skills into the job market. The goal of the Pioneer Playbook is to help our student athletes move from sport into the real world so they can become active alum and give back to their community and DU. Meetings will consist of valuable interview skills, personal finance, and an etiquette/networking dinner to prepare them for interviews of all styles and settings.


Staff

Carey Benson
Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Support Services
Room 3307, Ritchie Center
cbenso22@du.edu
303-871-2827
Primary Responsibilities: Academic Advising, CHAMPS/Life Skills, Career Development, Campus Liaison (FYE, SYE, SOC, Sexual Assault Awareness), Eligibility Certification
Teams: Men's Ice Hockey, Men's & Women's Tennis, Men's & Women's Basketball, Women's Gymnastics, Men's & Women's Soccer, Women's Volleyball

Cindi Nagai
Director of Student Athlete Support Services
Diversity and Community Relations
Room 3309, Ritchie Center
303-871-4532
Cynthia.nagai@du.edu

Teams: Men's & Women's Golf and Men's & Women's Lacrosse

Other Resources

Ron Grahame
Assistant Vice Chancellor/Senior Associate Athletics Director
rgrahame@du.edu
303-871-3892

Cynthia Rail
Associate Athletics Director for Compliance and Student-Athlete Support Services
303-871-4637 (phone); 303-871-3040 (fax)
crail@du.edu


Brian Carey

Assistant Director for Compliance

303-871-3398 (phone); 303-871-3040 (fax)

brian.carey@du.edu

Teams: Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving, Men's & Women's Skiing 


Athletic Training Room
303-871-3917


Strength & Conditioning
303-871-3887


Back  Denver Student-Athlete Support Services


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