The mission of Student-Athlete Academic Support Services is to successfully promote student-athlete welfare by integrating academic and athletic experiences. The SAASS Office attempts to put the WCU Student-athletes in positions to benefit from the educational, professional and cultural advantages of higher education. The SAASS Office does this by:
1. Ensuring that each student-athlete at Western Carolina University continues to make academic progress towards graduation, as well as maintain athletic eligibility.
* NCAA'S 40/60/80 RULE
2. Ensure that every student-athlete is provided the necessary resources needed to be academically successful.
3. Strive to assist to each student-athlete with reaching his or her full potential as a young adult in achieving his or her academic, career, and life goals.
* Continually developing student-athlete life-skills for success in the classroom, on campus and in the community.
* Provide leadership opportunities such as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)
4. Support the success of the student-athletes by actively engaging the larger university community.
The purpose of the Student-Athlete Academic Support Services is to successfully promote student-athlete welfare by integrating academic and athletic experiences. The SAASS Office attempts to put the WCU Student-athletes in positions to benefit from the educational, professional, personal and cultural advantages of higher education.
Maintain or achieve graduation rates and GPA's that are above the University average and lead all public institutions in the SoCon.
Maintain four year average APR scores above 930
Support efforts of every student-athlete toward intellectual development and graduation.
Increase the likelihood of retention amongst the student-athletes.
Assist student-athletes in utilizing athletics to attain life goals and in meeting the changing needs of young adult development.
Promote an environment of understanding and respect for diversity among student-athletes.
Encourage student-athletes to make meaningful contributions to their communities.
Promote ownership by student-athletes of their academic, athletic, personal and social responsibilities.
Academic Enhancement Program (AEP)
The primary function of AEP is to facilitate student-athlete study hours. The study hours are monitored by the SAASS staff and academic assistants hired by the SAASS staff. The WCU Department of Athletics recognizes the need to prepare first year student-athletes (both freshmen and transfer) to ensure that all students are transitioning successfully. Therefore all first-year students are mandated study hours.
Required Attendees and Required Hours
The Academic Enhancement Program is available for all student-athletes who voluntarily wish to participate in the day and evening programs. However, all first semester freshmen (0-23 credit hours) are required to participate in AEP. In addition, any returning freshmen (24-29 credit hours) below 2.50 cumulative grade point average, sophomores (30-59 credit hours) and juniors (60-89 credit hours) who have a cumulative grade point average below 2.30 will be required to participate in AEP.
Coaches may also include any student-athletes in AEP at their discretion.
All first semester freshmen (0-23 credit hours) will be scheduled for 6 academic study hours/week.
Continuing freshmen (24-29 credit hours), sophomores (30-59 credit hours) and juniors (60-89 credit hours) will be schedled for 4 academic study hours/week.
Any senior (90+ credit hours) who has a cumulative grade point average of 2.00-2.30 will be required to have bi-weekly academic meetings with their coach (during the entire academic year and summer sessions) and will be responsible for turning in their academic meeting form to the SAASS Office (within 24 hours of the meeting).
Student-Athletes not in good academic standing (i.e., on academic probation or who are returning from suspension/reinstatement status) and all student-athletes being admitted to the institution as a Distinguish Talent Exception by the Chancellor (i.e. special admit) will be scheduled for 8 academic study hours/week.
In addition, the student-athlete will be required to meet with SAASS staff on a weekly basis.
Tutoring services are available through several divisions on campus. The most commonly used is the Writing and Learning Commons (WaLC) and the Math Lab.
First generation college students, students who meet income guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Education and students who have diagnosed learning disabilities are also eligible for additional tutorial services through Student Support Services.
Student-athletes must complete a TUTOR REQUEST FORM available in the academic center and it to the SAASS staff. At that point the SAASS staff will assist in scheduling tutors for the student. When meeting with a tutor at any Academic Resource Centers, the student-athlete is responsible for informing the SAASS staff of their tutorial session.
If the student-athlete requests a tutor in a class that is not offered at any of the three Academic Success Centers, the SAASS staff will contact the professor/instructor directly to solicit tutor suggestions. When a tutor is identified, the tutor is matched with the student-athlete in need and arrangements for tutoring are made. If a professor/instructor is unable to suggest a tutor, the student-athlete is directed to seek assistance from the professor/instructor directly during his/her office hours and/or pair up with a study partner from the course.
If the student-athlete requests a tutor in a class other than math or computer science, tutoring is available on campus "by appointment" at the Writing and Learning Commons. The WaLC is available to all students on the WCU campus. An appointment is made with the WaLC 24 hours prior to the tutoring appointment. The WaLC offers tutors in the majority of 100 and 200 level courses. WaLC tutors are expected to facilitate individual and/or small group study. Tutors must go through an extensive training with the Director of the WaLC. The tutors can also be recommended by the professor/instructor (or department) to tutor for the course.
If the student-athlete requests a tutor in a math or computer science course, the student-athlete and SAASS staff views the available tutorials in WCU's TutorTrac. If a tutor is not available on TutorTrac, the student-athlete will then schedule an appointment to attend the WCU Math Lab. The Math Lab is one of the academic success centers on campus, available to all students, which has drop-in hours daily.
If the student-athlete needs a tutor to assist on a writing assignment for any class, the student-athlete is scheduled an appointment to attend the WCU Writing Center.
The Athletic Academic Center is located on the second floor of the Jordan-Phillips Field house and its purpose is for the students to fulfill their study hour requirements, to monitor the academic progress of its student-athletes, to provide academic assistance, and to assist them in acquiring services from other University support services. The supervisor of the Academic Center is the Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services.
Also housed in the academic center is a 16 computer, computer lab with printing capabilities for all students on WCU's campus.