Club Sports student-athletes raise academic bar in fall term
January 10, 2020 | Lynchburg, Va.
Student-athletes in Liberty University's Club Sports department continued to excel in the classroom this past fall semester, surpassing the record-setting cumulative GPA from last spring by reaching the 3.25 mark.
"We are so proud of our student-athletes for all their hard work in their academic performance this semester," Club Sports Director of Academic Advancement Sarah Kelly said. "It's great to see them using our resources to help support their academics. Through our study hall program, weekly mentoring, tutoring, and working with coaches, we are able to support them in many areas."
Liberty's men's and women's cycling (3.63), gymnastics (3.57), and beach volleyball (3.56) teams all achieved cumulative GPAs that eclipsed the previous team record high of 3.55.
"It's impressive to see the coaches set goals for the team and then rise to the occasion to break previous records seen at Club Sports in academics," Kelly said.
Other teams posting above-average cumulative GPAs were men's Ultimate (3.52), women's wrestling (3.48), men's and women's disc golf (3.47), men's DI hockey (3.46), women's DI hockey (3.45), men's volleyball (3.44), equestrian (3.41), men's and women's triathlon (3.41), men's and women's archery (3.39), women's Ultimate (3.39), figure skating (3.33), men's and women's crew (3.30), and synchronized skating (3.30).
Kelly estimates that Club Sports student-athletes receive 45 hours per week of mentoring, individually or in small groups, coordinated by Assistant Director of Academic Advancement Donna Holland, who also schedules the department's study hall program. Rachael Kamm serves as Club Sports mentoring supervisor, working with graduate assistant Isaac Dalton, and graduate Drew Crilly is Holland's study hall coordinator GA.
Jessica Nelson, Liberty's beach volleyball assistant coach, is the Club Sports staff's professional advisor providing guidance to all of the freshmen and sophomore student-athletes. Emily Hughes serves as Club Sports compliance coordinator and Kelly helps set up tutoring and assists student-athletes' travel issues as well as monitoring their class attendance.
"Our goal as a department is to help our student-athletes own their education and become independent student-athletes that are able to manage their time," Kelly said. "We've really seen this growth over the last few years and the foundation has allowed our students to find great success."