University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

Collegiate Athletics for Senior Leaders: Module 1 - The Student Athlete Experience

Penn Women's Soccer team playing a home game against Lafayette College in 2016.

Module Content

Like a sports car, a collegiate athletics program has a number of moving parts, all needing to operate at peak performance to ensure a successful student athlete experience. What are the fundamentals senior campus administrators need to understand to be able to tune up the enterprise? When a challenge surfaces, senior campus administrators must be able to assist their Athletics Directors in fixing the problems in a way that aligns with their institutional missions as well as NCAA rules and regulations.


This Virtual Institute lays the foundation for ethical supervision focused on the student-athlete experience. Able to be taken as a standalone program or as part of the Collegiate Athletics for Senior Leaders Certificate Program, participants will earn what tools you have at your disposal, including best practices and approaches to support your Athletics Director. Is your institution sending clear messages to the campus community about what it values when it comes to athletics? Is your Athletics Director hiring the right people who align with those values? Are the student-athletes clear on the deliverables the coach (and, by extension), the institution promised them as a recruit?


Key Topics
  1. A clear understanding of the value proposition of intercollegiate athletics
  2. Challenges facing an institution's athletics program
  3. Mission alignment between university and athletic department
  4. Personnel appointments and contractual agreements-legal issues
  5. Facility evaluations for varsity sports and risk management
  6. The complex role of the student-athlete handbook
  7. Athletic Department reporting structures
  8. Academics, Graduation and college athletics
  9. Title IX and Gender Equity
  10. Athlete Wellness and Time Demands


Academic Director
Penn GSE Faculty Karen Weaver

Dr. Karen Weaver

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Higher Education Division
Penn Graduate School of Education


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