UNO Athletics coming off its most successful semester in history
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 08:02
UNO student-athletes are making history both on and off the field.
On the field, UNO athletics is taking the challenge of competing in their first full year with an entire Division I schedule.
But what is often not heard of is the work student-athletes do away from competition. Maverick athletes are putting up record numbers in the classroom, as was demonstrated this past semester.
UNO student-athletes made history during the fall 2012 semester. The university’s 256 student-athletes achieved a cumulative grade-point average of 3.34, the highest single-semester GPA in the history of UNO athletics. That wasn’t the only milestone for Maverick athletes, however, as more student-athletes than ever before surpassed the 3.34 record by earning a minimum 3.50 GPA.
“I am proud of the hard work and dedication our student-athletes have put in to achieve such outstanding results in the classroom,” said UNO Director of Athletics Trev Alberts. “Given the demands of travel and competition placed on our student-athletes, their academic success is that much more impressive.”
Overall, the numbers for the fall 2012 semester were unlike any other. The UNO athletic department is especially proud of the 91 student-athletes who made the Dean’s List, achieving a 3.50 GPA or better.
Furthermore, another 32 were named to the Chancellor’s List, signifying a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. In all, 48 percent (123 of 256 student-athletes) were named to an honorary list.
So, what’s the secret? How do UNO student-athletes do so well in the classroom? It all starts with the athletic department’s academic success staff, headed by Lindsey Stineman.
Stineman, who was hired in August 2012, serves as the athletic department’s first full-time director of academic success, keeping close tabs on all Maverick student-athletes. This involves working closely with administrators, coaches, faculty and other campus officials to help student-athletes balance the demands of academic responsibilities with participation in athletics.
The academic success staff uses a web-based program to monitor student-athletes progress with their classes. The program allows Stineman and her staff to directly communicate with faculty through emails and grade reports.
The academic success staff helps student-athletes with just about anything academics related. Stineman says her philosophy to develop success in the classroom is to help student-athletes become invested, confident and competent learners.
“Meeting needs for the most prepared and the underprepared is the goal,” Stineman said.
Whether it is a team of tutors for student-athletes who need the extra help, academic coordinators for those who have questions about their program of study, or even educational assistants who provide structured learning programs and skill-building exercises for those athletes with learning deficiencies, Stineman’s staff has it covered.
“Our staff understands academics, and we want to be proactive instead of reactive,” Stineman said.
This is why the academic support program was put in place. It ensures the communication between the faculty and the athletic department, as well as offering athletes the program and support needed to excel in the classroom.
UNO student-athletes weren’t the only ones to make history in the athletic department recently. In January, the UNO athletic department christened the sparkling Hamilton Academic Excellence Center located in the Sapp Fieldhouse.
The brand new facility serves as the hub for UNO student-athletes. The 5,000-square-foot facility houses computer docks and laptop terminals, printing stations, areas for individual or group study, as well as tutorial support. The Hamilton Academic Excellence Center is now the home for Stineman and her staff, as the facility harbors their office space.
Maverick athletes have described the new facility as “truly excellent,” “a great step-up from before,” and “absolutely stunning,” Stineman said.
The Hamilton Academic Excellence Center now serves as a sense of pride with the student-athletes. They have a top-notch facility that they can be proud of. Stineman said that because the facility is so comfortable, clean, fresh, open and easily accessible, she finds student-athletes having a new passion for studying now that there is a place for them to enjoy.
There’s no question about it; Maverick student-athletes are bright, and the numbers are there to prove it. This trend is sure to continue as UNO’s athletic department will continue to invest in their student-athletes to help ensure the success of future Mavericks both on and off the field.