Collegiate athletics plays an important role in higher education. As a result of this importance student athletes also play a significant role in higher education. However, due to their athletic responsibilities they face a number of challenges while enrolled in a college or university. An academic advisor for student athletes is responsible for not only helping the student athletes with their academics, they also play an important role in ensuring the eligibility of college student athletes so they are able to compete. As a result, academic advisors for student athletes use a number of tools and resources that help ensure the academic success of the student athletes. This study examined the use of these tools and resources from three institutions in the American Athletic Conference by 14 participants and how they related to the Graduation Success Rate of each institution. In addition, this study highlighted and examined the learning styles of not only the student athlete but also the academic advisor using Kolb's Learning Style Inventory (LSI). The study was quantitative in nature using survey research to answer five research questions. A Chi-Square analysis revealed there was significance between the number of tools and resources used and the Graduation Success Rate. A second Chi-Square revealed there was no significance between the student athletes learning style and the tools and resources used by academic advisors and learning specialists. The study also identified that of Kolb's four learning styles, the student athletes were mainly Accommodators and Divergers. The results of this study suggest that academic advisors and learning specialists should use more tools and resources when working with student athletes to ensure a higher Graduation Success Rate. This study was one of the first to examine the tools and resources used by academic advisors and learning specialist, as well as, the learning styles of student athletes. Future research should continue to investigate the tools and resources used by academic advisors use and the role of the academic level of the student athlete.


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Graduation Date





King, Kathy (Kathleen)


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Child, Family, and Community Sciences

Degree Program

Educational Leadership; Higher Education









Release Date

May 2017

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)