The Effects of Career Counseling on Freshman College Athletes

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Eileen S. NelsonJames Madison University

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The results of this study suggest that college athletes can improve their academic performance through participation in career counseling. Subjects included 34 female and 98 male freshman athletes enrolled in their first semester in college. They were randomly assigned to two groups. The experimental group attended five career counseling sessions with an academic advisor. This group was found to have significantly higher first semester GPAs, more changes in choice of college majors, and higher expressed satisfaction with their majors as compared to the second, or control, group that received no career counseling. At the end of the freshman year, the GPAs of experimental subjects, who had received career counseling, did not differ significantly from those of the rest of the freshman class (nonathletes). However, GPAs of athletes who did not receive any career counseling were significantly lower than both those of the experimental group and the rest of the freshman class.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Eileen S. Nelson, Department of Psychology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807.

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