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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Delores McNair

First Committee Member

Edward Leland

Second Committee Member

Joanna Royce-Davis

Third Committee Member

Peter Schroeder


The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to examine student-athlete perceptions of the role of summer pre-enrollment in their adjustment and transition to college. The study focused on student-athletes who received athletically-related financial aid at a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I-AAA institution. The Academic Progress Rate (APR), which measures academic eligibility and retention while incorporating a penalty structure for underperforming teams and athletic departments, has emerged as the fundamental measure of academic success for intercollegiate athletics programs. Educators have responded with a broad spectrum of support programs for student-athletes in order to meet APR benchmarks and avoid costly penalties. The NCAA first permitted the awarding of athletic aid to incoming student-athletes for summer pre-enrollment during the early part of the last decade. However, relatively little research has examined the concept of summer pre-enrollment and the role it may play in a student-athlete's adjustment and transition to college. The researcher conducted retrospective in-depth interviews with seven men's and women's basketball student-athletes who had completed one year of full-time enrollment at the selected institution and who received athletic aid for their summer pre-enrollment. Data was analyzed in a manner consistent with Boeije's Constant Comparative Analysis. This study drew upon Schlossberg's Transition Theory, and the participants described their experience in relation to their situation, self, support, and strategies. Collectively, the findings suggested that the participants perceived at least some benefit to their academic adjustment and social integration to college from the summer pre-enrollment. Though the summer pre-enrollment may not have provided identical academic, athletic, and social demands as the academic year, most of the participants indicated they were able to gain a better understanding of what college classes and college life were like as a result of their summer pre-enrollment participation. The findings further suggested that the participants were well prepared and well equipped for the demands of college prior to their summer pre-enrollment experience. Future research is needed to examine the role of summer pre-enrollment in the college adjustment and transition of student-athletes who are less prepared for the demands of college.





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