NAIA to NCAA D-II Sports Transition: A Three-Year University Case Study

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Handbook of Research on Advancing Critical Thinking in Higher Education


The intent of this chapter is to provide results of a self-study of the transition process of a medium-sized, independent university from affiliation with National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II. This transitional movement by a four-year, liberal arts University represented real-world application of critical thinking to decision making, which created an impact on all stakeholders. The study purpose was to provide documentation of the transition with analysis of potential barriers and challenges, an examination of procedures placed, and quantitative verification of potential academic impact on both athletes and non-athletes. Data informed the original decision. This project continued analysis with before-to-after comparisons of measureable characteristics, such as athlete and non-athlete GPA, extent to which NCAA involvement influenced both athlete and non-athlete student choice to attend University, and before-to-after perceptions of University's reputation and stature within the academic community.



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