The University of Cincinnati Student-Athlete Support Services (SASS) staff strives to provide the support necessary to assist student-athletes in reaching their full potential academically, personally, athletically, and professionally during their college career. The student-athlete support program works cooperatively with university staff and services to aid student-athletes as they transition into the university, progress through their coursework, receive their diploma and move on to succeed in graduate school, the work force or to compete after their collegiate career.
Academic Services is the core area for all student-athletes who come to the University of Cincinnati. The primary focus is on establishing a graduation plan for each student, and providing the academic support necessary to meet this plan. Seven academic counselors are dedicated to the support of the student-athletes, and provide leadership as well as communication to designated sports. The academic counselors are also responsible for communication with campus advisors, faculty and staff. Student-athletes are closely monitored from their initial enrollment until graduation. Student-athletes are engaged in the process from enrollment to graduation so they become independent learners.
Learning Services is the function that supports the academic services area. Learning services focuses on assisting students with diagnosed learning disabilities, as well as testing students for further assessment to see if an undiagnosed disability exists. Student-athletes can receive study skill and learning strategy development throughout the school year. All student-athletes have access to academic coaching and tutoring as well to support their academic coursework. Tutors focus on specific course content while academic coaches assist students with organization and planning as they adjust to the time management challenges of being a college student-athlete.
Student-athlete leadership encompasses a developmental model within CPAWS. The leadership program prepares student-athletes to be professionals by fostering the development of skills and competencies that will aid in their current and future success. Leadership involves a commitment to understand the impact of decisions and the ability to influence others. A leadership certificate was created for ALL student-athletes mandating an annual core of programming as well as elective opportunities, focusing on leadership skills, career exploration, community engagement, and personal development.
The athletic department has now achieved a 3.0 GPA in seven straight years, including 18 of 19 grading periods of a 3.0 or higher. Per graduation rates, the athletic department has graduated 88% of its student-athletes who have exhausted their NCAA eligibility.
The athletic department has worked diligently to create a strategic plan that will guide our athletic department. One of the seven goals listed is, "Excel in the classroom/Cincinnati Smart", which has four main objectives:
- Graduate 100% of our student-athletes who exhaust their eligibility,
- Promote a culture of high academic expectations,
- Immerse first-time UC student-athletes into university academic life by developing a targeted, comprehensive academic preparedness program, and
- Lead by SASS and the AAC (Athletic Advisory Council), develop a comprehensive campus and athletic department partnership program.