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WKU, RSA Faculty Awarded NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant to Design a 100% Online Career Development Program for Student-Athletes

  • Author: Amy Fitzpatrick
  • Author: Thursday, February 16th, 2017


Bowling Green, Ky--A Western Kentucky University team of researchers, Evie Oregon, PhD, Lauren McCoy, J.D. and Lacee Carmon-Johnson, PhD, have been awarded an NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice grant to design a 100% Online Athlete Bridge to Career Development (A.B.C.D.) Program. WKU is one of five university research teams across the country that will receive funding to perform research designed to enhance student-athletes’ psychosocial well-being and mental health.


Dr. Oregon, Coordinator of the Intercollegiate Athletic Administration program, Lauren McCoy, assistant professor and Dr. Lacee Carmon-Johnson visiting professor in the School of Kinesiology Recreation and Sport, will build an online program designed to assist athletes in (1) identifying potential career paths, (2) teaching the importance of developing an identity outside their sport, (3) learning how to positively promote themselves through social media and personal branding, and (4) providing the tools for applying and interviewing for employment. The program will be piloted during Summer 2017.


Researchers noted, this pilot program is designed to bridge that gap, by providing resources, experience, and education, all within a flexible medium, that will impact the person they are now, and who they will become—whether that is on the field or off.


“This support will give us the opportunity to establish enhanced learning for student-athlete career development beyond sport. Many student-athletes will not have the opportunity to play professional sport, but they can use their dedication to go pro in something other than sport. It is our hopes that this program assists in that. The online program provides a promising approach to life beyond college and athletics for all NCAA student-athletes across divisions and geographic locations ” said Dr. Evie Oregon


The NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program is aimed at funding projects that will bring tangible benefits to college athletes when used by individuals or by NCAA member schools’ athletics departments. The Western Kentucky University team will share a $100,000 grant with teams from Rowan University, University of Massachusetts, and Sonoma State University. The five teams will present their findings in January 2018 at the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis, IN.





For more information, please contact Evie Oregon at (270) 745-2080 or by email at evelyn.oregon@wku.edu.


About Western Kentucky University’s School of KRS: The vision of the School of Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sport is to offer premier academic programs and to be acknowledged for innovative teaching, research, and creative & professional service activities related to improving wellness and overall quality of life in a global society.  The School of KRS’s mission is to provide high quality educational experiences and engagement opportunities for future professionals seeking knowledge in disciplines related to human movement, leisure services, and sport management




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