Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

MSEd in Physical Education

Department

Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

Abstract

The transition from student-athlete to non-student-athlete is a daunting time for many student-athletes that can bring a flood of both positive and negative emotions. Currently there are few organized programs that prepare student-athletes for this challenging life transition. This synthesis reviewed literature regarding the transition process that student-athletes experience when leaving collegiate athletics.

A total of ten articles were chosen to be included in the critical mass for this synthesis and information was organized by completing 12-step outlines for each article. The following six research questions were intended to be answered: (a) what do student-athletes experience when leaving the world of college athletics?, (b) is there a difference between males and females when transitioning out of college sports?, (c) what are the experiences of DI and DIII athletes like?, (d) what is the impact of injury on the transition from student-athlete to non-student?, (e) what are some of the strengths and weaknesses student-athletes bring to careers and life after college sports?, (f) what can colleges do to prepare student-athletes for life after college athletics?

Results indicated the transition experience is a process that requires both academic and career planning. Between Division I and Division III, there are few differences in the transition experiences of student-athletes. Gender played a significant role in the transition and males needed more targeted intervention programs than females. The athletes who suffered career ending injuries had a more difficult transition experience, especially when they had to make the decision to leave sport themselves. It is important for institutions to provide career planning early and often for student-athletes in order to prepare them for life after college sports.

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