Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Teresa Eagle.


The purpose of this study was to determine if NCAA Division I student athlete characteristics of graduation, presented in the literature and previous research, can be generalized to student athletes in the Mid-American Conference using research based conclusions developed from this study. The study identified seven characteristics prominent in the literature and made conclusions to ascertain if information provided on the characteristics, as presented in the literature, can be generalized to the Mid-American Conference. The research population for this study was N = 1430. The population represented student athletes at the 13 schools of the Mid-American Conference. All student athletes represented in the selected population were seniors by NCAA eligibility standards and were within one academic year of receiving a baccalaureate degree. The researcher selected a proportional stratified sample (25%) of the population (n = 358) and mailed a research-developed survey instrument, inspired by previous survey instruments and research, to the selected proportion of the population, Data were stored securely and complete anonymity was guaranteed. The analysis of the data indicated that information gleaned from the literature can be applied to student athletes in the Mid-American Conference based upon the research conclusions presented in this study. The characteristics of graduation prominently identified in the literature that formed the basis for this study were student athletes' perception of college coaches' emphasis on academics, the extent of use of specialized academic support services for student athletes, specific sport played in college, ethnicity, gender, NCAA high school core course grade point average, and score attained on SAT or ACT test. The analysis of the data specific to the student athletes in the Mid-American Conference revealed, as in the literature, that the constructs of gender, ethnicity, and sport played can have a significant impact on the academic achievement in the other listed categories and on potential for graduation. Ancillary findings were related to the academic achievement of Caucasian females and women basketball players in the conference.