Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type



Liberal Studies

Committee Chair

Richard Irwin

Committee Member

Niki Bray

Committee Member

Gary Donhardt

Committee Member

Alisha Rose Henderson


As studies highlight the career transition struggles of collegiate student-athletes (Hansen et al., 2019; Payne & Driska, 2020; Woods, 2017), researchers have called for more investigation into the influence of various environmental factors on student-athlete outcomes (Navarro & Malvaso, 2015; Navarro et al., 2019). Collegiate student-athletes often face excessive time demands that may necessitate programming interventions to support their holistic development needs beyond academic matriculation. For instance, prior studies (Haslerig & Navarro, 2016; Lochbaum et al., 2022; Poux & Fry, 2015) have concluded that student-athletes may require additional support with identity formation and career preparation. In recent years, the field of student-athlete development has emerged as an influential facilitator of life skills enrichment for student-athletes (N4A, 2022). Yet, because NCAA-member institutions possess a great deal of autonomy in the way that they implement suggested student-athlete development programming, there can be a wide range of academic, personal, life skills, professional, and career outcomes. In this quantitative study, current and former student-athletes were surveyed to provide feedback on specific tenets of the student-athlete development experience. The objective of this study was to examine the reflections of both current and former collegiate student-athletes on their student-athlete development experience and to assess whether specific student-athlete development tenets enhanced their perceptions of career readiness. The theoretical framework used in this investigation was Conley’s College and Career Readiness Model (Conley, 2012; Conley, 2018; Conley & French, 2013). This framework was utilized to provide a foundational definition of career readiness and to inform survey questions around student-athlete development’s facilitation of perceived “career-ready” outcomes. A multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to explore statistically significant correlations between the dichotomous dependent variable (a student-athlete’s perception of career readiness) and multiple independent variables related to the student-athlete development programming experience. Findings imply that a student-athlete’s intentions to play professional sports may be statistically correlated with their perceptions of career readiness. Of practical significance, the researcher recommends targeted engagement with student-athletes through an “athletics” degree program, professional development courses, and career services collaborations to improve student-athlete career readiness outcomes. Implications for future research are also discussed.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access