Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Learning, Leadership and Change

First Advisor

Robert Calvert

First Committee Member

Rod P. Githens

Second Committee Member

Peter Schroeder


Previous research has indicated the majority of athlete alumni do not give charitable donations to their alma mater or athletics department. With over 4 million former National Collegiate Athletic Association student-athletes, these athlete alumni should have an inherent affinity for their athletics department. The purpose of this research study was to examine the relationship between a student-athlete career preparation program (“Career Program”) and athlete alumni affinity for the athletics department. This study uses the theoretical framework of Social Exchange Theory to examine if an athlete alumni’s affinity for their athletics department increases when they receive support for their career launch. The quantitative quasi-experimental study had two groups of athlete alumni, career program varsity athlete alumni and non-career program varsity athlete alumni, who graduated from one large, public university at the Football Championship Subdivision level. The intervention of the Career Program was provided to one group of athlete alumni. An athlete alumni affinity questionnaire was developed and administered to both groups. The questionnaire received a low response rate with 71 respondents. The Pearson chi-squared test did not show a relationship between athlete alumni affinity and the Career Program. There was no statistical difference indicated between the two groups for the five latent variables of (a) career preparedness, (b) communication, (c) connection, (d) student-athlete experience, and (e) undergraduate experience. Two athlete alumni affinity statements did show significance, and they were related to student-athletes developing a LinkedIn profile and professional resume.





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