Student-Athlete Wellness Newsletter
West Virginia University Intercollegiate Athletics is committed to the promotion of the academic and athletic achievement of student-athletes as well as their personal and career development.
In support of this position, a variety of services and programs are available to help student-athletes maximize their personal potential. Athletic department support staff members work with coaches, on-campus student service providers, and faculty to help student-athletes meet the unique demands of the classroom, the sporting arena, and the personal-social challenges they face as developing young adults.
Although the department provides specialized assistance in academic advising and tutoring as well as personal counseling, the staff encourages student-athletes to use the many excellent resources and services available at WVU, typically at no cost.
CHAMPS/Life Skills Program
The numerous challenges that today's college student-athletes face, both on and off the playing field, are unparalleled in the history of higher education. Unfortunately, many students are not well prepared to face these challenges. To prepare student-athletes for the demands of college life and beyond, the NCAA has developed the CHAMPS (Challenging Athletes Minds for Personal Success)/Life Skills program.
The mission of of the NCAA is to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the campus educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body. With this in mind, the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program was created to support the student development initiatives of its member institutions and to enhance the quality of the student-athlete experience within the university setting.
In the process of achieving this mission, the CHAMPS/life Skills Program will:
Participating institutions in the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program are provided with instructional materials and supplemental resources, which support a student-athlete's development in five areas: academics, athletics, personal development, career development and community service.
In the spring of 1995, West Virginia University initiated its own CHAMPS/Life Skills program. WVU was one of 170 schools selected by the NCAA to participate in their national pilot program. Five programming "commitment" areas viewed as critical to personal growth are part of WVU's model. They are: 1) academic excellence, 2) personal development, 3) career development, 4) athletic excellence, and 5) community service. E-mail CHAMPS/Life Skills coordinator Dr. Ed Etzel for more information.
Commitment to Academic Excellence: The purpose of this area is to support the academic progress of the student-athlete toward intellectual development and graduation. Services provided within this component include tutoring, academic counseling and advising, orientation classes (sport studies 170), and structured study sessions.
Commitment to Athletic Excellence: The purpose of this area is to offer athletic programs that are broad-based, equitable, and dedicated to the well-being of the student-athlete. The WVU CHAMPS/Life Skills program supports and encourages a broad program of sports on the collegiate level, as well as acts a resource for the coaching and support staff of the athletic programs.
Commitment to Personal Development: The purpose of this area is to support the development of a well-balanced lifestyle for student-athletes, encouraging emotional well-being, personal growth and decision making skills. CHAMPS/Life Skills services provided within this component include personal counseling, health presentations, improving communication skills, and presentations on social development and fiscal responsibility.
Commitment to Service: The purpose of this component is to engage interested student-athletes in service to his or her campus and surrounding communities. Activities for student-athletes within this component include peer education, guest speaking at campus and community events, and mentoring local children.
Commitment to Career Development: The purpose of this component is to encourage the student-athlete to develop and pursue career and life goals in a timely manner. The CHAMPS/Life Skills program fulfills this purpose by offering career development presentations, sport career retirement programs, and by working in conjunction with the WVU Counseling Service and the Career Services Center on identifying and individual's interests, career goals, resumes, and job search process.
Presentations and workshops in many of the above areas can be requested from the CHAMPS/Life Skills program "menu" on an individual or team basis. Members of the CHAMPS/Life Skills staff tailor each presentation to the unique needs of the individual or team requesting it. Dr. Ed Etzel, psychologist for athletics, serves as CHAMPS/Life Skills program coordinator. Call him at (304) 293-7062 for more information or a copy of the programming menu.