The Relationship Between a Goal-Setting Intervention and Student-Athlete Academic Performance
The purpose of this study was to examine whether a weekly goal-setting intervention from an academic support staff professional would relate to an improvement in the academic performance of collegiate student-athletes over the course of one semester. Research suggests that student-athletes do not perform as well in the classroom as non-athletes and may require specialized services due to their unique scheduling demands. Effective goal-setting strategies have been correlated with increased motivation and performance, however there has been limited research applying these strategies to athletes in their academic endeavors. Twenty student-athletes from Carthage College participated in this study. After learning a series of effective goal-setting principles (SMART goals), the participants evaluated their semester academic goals once a week, for the first ten weeks of the Fall 2006 semester. Each participant was given a behavioral and attitudinal assessment before and after the intervention to examine whether their goal-setting knowledge changed over the course of the semester. Participant attendance was recorded and student grade point average (GPA) was compared from the Spring 2006 to the Fall2006 semester. Results showed a statistically significant increase in Pre and Post assessment scores. However, average GP A did not increase. Therefore, no correlation was observed between workshop attendance and participant's GP A difference. The results suggest that the workshop improved goal setting behaviors and attitudes but did not translate to an increase in academic performance. A study with more participants conducted over a full academic year may be needed to show improvement in GP A.
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