Athletics at Xavier is more than just a game. It is an important part of the Jesuit philosophy of education that stresses the development of the mind, body and spirit of each student. Xavier is consistently among the top schools in the nation for student-athlete graduation rates. In the NCAA Official Graduation Rates Report, Xavier is consistently near 80% graduation rate, which exceeds the rate of 74% for XU's general student population. In fact, XU's numbers with the NCAA's new Student Athlete Graduation Success Rate is an impressive 93%.
Xavier placed 95 on the Spring 2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll, while 72 XU student-athletes made the list following the Fall 2010 semester. All honorees boast at least a 3.5 GPA. The overall student-athlete GPA for 2011-2012 was 3.17 and in the Spring of 2011, 14 student-athletes earned perfect 4.0's.
The Office of Student-Athlete Academic Support Services (SAASS) is part of the Department of Student Academic Support Services, located on the 5th Floor of the new Conaton Learning Commons. Kim Powers Hoyt, entering her 9th year at Xavier, serves as the Director of Student-Athlete Academic Support Services. After graduating from Stanford University where she was a member of the Women's Diving Team, Powers Hoyt started at Xavier in 2003 as an intern for Sister Rose Ann Fleming. Powers Hoyt is assisted by Jay Malcolm and Erik Alanson, both full time Athletic Academic Advisors. Alanson also serves as the Life Skills Coordinator in the office. Each advisor works with certain teams, giving the student-athlete a familiar contact for academic help. Below is the breakdown of team assignments:
Kim Powers Hoyt - Women's Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Men's and Women's Tennis
TBA - Men's Basketball, Men's and Women's Golf
Erik Alanson - Men's and Women's Soccer, Men's and Women's Swimming, Men's and Women's Cross Country/Track
The SAASS Office offers one-on-one academic advising to student-athletes, which involves academic monitoring and support, as well as assistance with class registration and course selection. The office also oversees both a freshman and upperclassman study table program. Every freshman student-athlete at Xavier is required to attend study tables for two hours a day, Sunday-Thursday, every week of their first semester, whether in or out of season. Tutors are available at these study sessions to assist the student-athletes. At mid-term, freshmen who have earned less than a 3.0 GPA will be required to continue with study tables. For the rest of their Xavier career, any student-athlete who fails to earn a 3.0 GPA will be required to attend study tables.
Another aspect of academic support offered by this office is a comprehensive tutoring program which provides tutoring support to student-athletes in nearly every academic field. The SAASS Office employs approximately 5-10 adult professional tutors and also collaborates with the Xavier Learning Assistance Center (LAC) to provide student tutors to work with the student-athletes. Also available through the LAC are supplemental instruction (SI) sessions in the fields of biology, chemistry and anatomy and physiology.
The SAASS Office also includes a comprehensive Life Skills Program, coordinated by Erik Alanson, that provides programming and support in the areas of personal development, career development, and service to the community. Xavier student-athletes have had the opportunity to give back to the community through volunteer service at the Ronald McDonald House, City Gospel Mission, and the Special Olympics. They are also looking forward to partnering with the Adopt-A-Class organization during the 2011-2012 year. Also under the Life Skills umbrella is a freshman orientation class, taught by Alanson, called "Issues Affecting Student-Athletes" that is designed to teach students about time management, study skills, and other unique challenges that face student-athletes.