The Official Athletic Site of Butler University The Official Athletic Site of Butler University

Academic Support/Life Skills

The Athletic Academic Support Offices are located in Hinkle Fieldhouse. Student-athletes know that either the Senior Associate Athletic Director in charge of eligibility, or the two Assistant Athletic Directors for Academics are available to assist them in solving academic and non-academic problems. Support services for student-athletes are provided on a by-need basis or by student/coach-request. Student-athletes who need or desire academic support services are encouraged to seek assistance early in the school year by either going to their athletic academic support staff person or to their coach.

The Athletic Academic Support Office is organized by sport. That is, every student-athlete on a team works with the same athletic academic assistant to which his or her particular team has been assigned.

In conjunction with Welcome Week activities that start the fall semester, the Athletic Academic Support Office sponsors a mandatory Student-Athlete Orientation Program for all in-coming freshman and transfer student-athletes. There are two student-athlete orientation programs offered - the first is conducted when the new in-coming football players arrive on campus and before two-a-day practices begin. The second student-athlete orientation program is actually conducted during Welcome Week activities, and all new in-coming student-athletes in all sports except football are required to attend. The agenda for both orientation sessions are identical and information on the following topics are presented during the two and a half hour program: CHAMPS/Life Skills, student-athlete academic responsibilities, the role of the faculty advisor vrs. the athletic academic support staff, university-wide and athletic department tutor programming, Learning Resource Center, Student Disabilities Services, university policies and procedures, NCAA eligibility requirements, improving student-faculty relationships, financial aid, campus library system, career services, student affairs office, and the counseling center.

Butler University provides study skills assistance and tutoring for most 100-200 level courses to all registered students free of charge. Tutoring assistance is available in two formats--Peer Tutoring Program; and individual sessions.

The Peer Tutoring Program is offered as a series of fixed-schedule, open-door tutoring sessions in 16 disciplines: Accounting, Biology, Chemistry (general and organic), Change and Tradition, Classical Studies, Economics, French, German, Mathematics, Microcomputing, Music Theory, Pharmacokinetics, Psychology, Physics, Spanish and Speech/Public Speaking. The Peer Tutoring sessions are conducted predominantly by juniors and seniors majoring in the target disciplines, who have been recommended by faculty members. Students must have successfully completed the course for which they are providing tutoring, demonstrate a excellent understanding of the material covered in 100-200 level classes in the discipline, and possess an ability to communicate effectively. Students receive training in tutoring their peers by a "tutoring coordinator" in the given discipline. The tutor coordinators are faculty members who are charged by the department chair to supervise the tutoring program.

Although the hours of the Peer Tutoring sessions vary by academic department, most are available between four and six days per week, two to five hours per day. At the beginning of each academic semester, the entire student body receives a copy of the Peer Tutoring Program schedule. Freshmen and sophomores receive a second copy of the schedule with their Early Term Grade Reports. The schedule is also posted on the bulletin board outside the Learning Resource Center, and outside each Peer Tutoring room. Faculty members are urged to inform their classes of the availability of the Peer Tutoring Program at the start of the semester, and again periodically throughout the term.

In addition to the Peer Tutoring Program, Butler University maintains a Writer's Studio to assist students with researching, organizing and composing written assignments. The Writer's Studio is managed by a professional director, and hires a staff of full-time and peer tutors. Students working as peer tutors in the Writer's Studio must complete a semester-long, one-credit class, and must demonstrate superior ability in writing and writing instruction.

Individual tutoring sessions are available to a limited number of students upon faculty recommendation. To recommend a student for individual tutoring, a faculty member should be satisfied that a given student attends class regularly, prepares well for class, completes all written assignments, attends the professor's office hours and problem solving sessions, and visits the Peer Tutoring sessions (when available). If a student meets the stated criteria, and the faculty member believes the students stands to benefit from a limited number of individual tutoring sessions, the Learning Resource Center will hire a tutor and arrange the tutoring sessions. Traditionally, students serving as individual tutors are drawn from the pool of individuals already working in the Peer Tutoring Program, and have received training under its auspices.

Student-athletes are first encouraged to work with their instructors, and to fully utilize the extensive university-wide tutoring resources provided by the Learning Resource Center. If a student-athlete is in need of further tutoring assistance though they can access the tutoring program that is offered through the athletic department. ALL student-athletes can utilize this privilege by contacting one of the Assistant Athletic Directors for Academics. The tutoring program covers the vast array of Butler's academic courses, but the greatest tutoring focus is toward courses that are either part of the core curriculum and/or are upper level courses in degree specific majors. All athletic department tutors are successful students who come highly recommended by Butler faculty members. Tutors employed by the athletic department must go through a specific hiring process before they begin working with student-athletes so they are aware of specific NCAA rules that govern their services.

Before registering for classes, each student-athlete should discuss preferred practice times, competition dates and travel dates (if any) for the upcoming semester with his or her coach. Planning in team sports is particularly critical since individual workouts help retain conditioning but do not foster critical team interaction. It is imperative that the student-athlete plans well enough in advance, so that class travel conflicts stay at a minimum.

In order to have the best possible chance to succeed in the classroom, student-athletes at Butler are expected to attend all their classes on a daily basis, at the regularly scheduled times. The definition of excessive absences, as well as the penalty for such absences, may vary with the nature of the course and instructor. It is the student's responsibility to learn and observe the rules governing each class. Consistent class attendance and participation are essential to academic success. Poor class attendance is a major factor in nearly all cases of academic failure.

It is the responsibility of each head coach to provide official written verification for student-athletes who will be missing class time due to their representation of Butler in intercollegiate athletic competition. Class absences caused by participation in athletic competition are approved absences as stated in the "Student Welfare/Class Absence Policy," approved by the Faculty Assembly and implemented during the 2001-02 school year. Nevertheless, the method of making up work is still at the discretion of each instructor.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each student-athlete to consult with his or her instructors PRIOR to making an athletic trip. It is best if the student-athlete meets with each instructor beforehand to clarify assignments that might be missed, and to learn of all deadlines for making up missed exams and/or class assignments, presentations and projects. Class travel excuses are not to be used as a justifiable reason for not meeting class responsibilities that have been clearly outlined by the instructor.

At the end of the fifth week of the semester, all Butler freshmen and sophomores receive an Early Term Grade report indicating their current grade in each of their classes. In addition to assigning a letter grade, faculty members have the opportunity to provide narrative comments to their students, including recommendations for tutoring, time management assistance, study skills enhancements, and other suggestions for improved performance. Early Term Grade reports are sent to the student's local address and are accompanied by a copy of the Peer Tutoring Program schedule for the semester.

Students who receive deficient grades or narratives on their Early Term Grade reports are directed to confer with their academic advisors prior to a specified date. Deficient grades include the letter grades of "D" and "F", as well as narratives commenting on inadequate attendance, test performance, homework completion and level of class participation. Since faculty advisors also receive copies of the Early Term Grade reports, they are aware of their advisees' academic progress and know which students should report for conferences. Faculty advisors are invited to refer students to the Learning Resource Center (LRC) for academic assistance or for triage of other circumstances that may be impacting the students' performance.

At any time during the semester, faculty members who identify academic deficiencies or poor attendance among their students may refer the students for assistance to the Learning Resource Center. The staff of the LRC will contact the student and arrange an initial meeting. If, during the course of the initial meeting, the LRC staff determines that non-academic concerns are impacting the student's performance, the LRC contacts other assistance providers on campus or may directly refer the student to those resources. The LRC articulates its assistance efforts with the Counseling Center, the Health Center, the Office of Residence Life, and the Office of Student Affairs.

In addition to the academic progress and reporting structures which apply to all Butler students, the academic performance of student-athletes is monitored by the Senior Associate Athletic Director and the two full-time Assistant Athletic Directors for Academics who work in the Athletic Academic Support Office, in Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Because the Athletic Academic Support Office is organized by sport, every student-athlete on a team works with the same athletic academic assistant to which his or her particular team has been assigned. In order to proactively monitor the academic success of their student-athletes, the athletic academic support staff regularly schedules weekly meetings with returning student-athletes on their assigned teams who have a cumulative grade point average of a 2.5 or less. Additionally, any in-coming freshmen who are identified by the admission office as requiring specific academic performance standards, and/or student-athletes who are recommended by their coaches also meet on a regular weekly basis throughout the school year with their athletic academic assistant. Besides assisting students with the registration process, the athletic academic assistants also help their assigned student-athletes by making one-on-one and small-group tutorial referrals, monitoring class attendance and academic performance through early term grade reports (first 4-5 weeks of the semester) and progress reports (sent the 8th and 12th weeks of each semester) to their instructors, and evaluating their academic performance per NCAA continuing eligibility rules.

The Athletic Director's Honor Roll recognizes those student-athlete's who have represented Butler University through participation in intercollegiate athletics during the specified fall/spring semester, and achieved either a 3.25 semester/cumulative grade point average. Traditionally, almost half of the current Butler student-athlete's achieve this recognition on a regular semester basis. Additionally, all student-athlete's who achieved a perfect 4.00 for that respective semester are recognized, as well as the top four male and female teams which have the highest team grade point average for that specific semester.

The list of the names of the various award winners are posted at the end of each fall/spring term in the Athletic Academic Support Program Office area, and in the glass case outside the men's basketball office.

Butler student-athletes have long been respected for their ability to combine academic success in the class room with athletic success in their respective sport. The "Josten's Scholar-Athlete Recognition Day" was founded during the 1999-2000 school year to recognize exceptional academic achievement during the previous calendar year. In order for a student-athlete to receive this recognition they must have achieved a 3.25 semester and/or cumulative grade point average during the previous calendar year, when they were representing Butler University as a member of an intercollegiate athletic team.

As part of a men's basketball half-time program, all student-athlete's who are award winners are personally recognized for their academic achievement during the fall/spring semesters of the previous calendar year. Additionally, each award winner is listed in the game program for that day's competition, and a Josten's representative has traditionally presented a financial donation in support of the athletic department's tutoring program.

At the end of each school year, the Butler Athletic Department, Butler "B" Association, and Outback Steakhouse, sponsor the All Sports Banquet. The year-ending event is held to pay tribute to Butler's 19 athletic teams and includes the presentation of Most Valuable Player and Mental Attitude Award winners to members of each of the athletic teams, as well as the presentation of several special recognition and scholarship awards.

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Membership and terms: The committee includes one or two representatives, depending on the size of the team, from each intercollegiate varsity sport sponsored by Butler.

    Selection process and meetings: Each head coach and their graduationg SAAC representative will be asked to select a new representative either by appointment or through a team vote. There will be at least one regularly scheduled meeting held each month during the academic year, with the meetings being scheduled at times that are mutually agreeable for committee members.

    The committtee's purpose is to advise Butler's athletic administration on matters that directly impact students, including but not limited to:

    • athletic scheduling policies
    • equipment issues
    • letter-winner awards
    • travel policies and per diems
    • NCAA and conference rules pertaining to eligibility, scholarships, transfers and championship participation

    Additionally, committee members help to organize community service projects, select the SAAC/Student Affairs male/female team award winners, and communicate with teammates to bring issues of concern to the committee and return with the committee's reaction to their teammates.

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