Inside Athletics

Student-Athlete Development

Student-Athlete Development


Student-Athlete Development emphasizes programming that provides student-athletes with critical support and cultivates skills to supplement their education. The most critical period of a student's academic career is the first year. We provide retention programs that assist student-athletes in the academic transition during the first year on campus.

All programs share a common theme. Student-athletes must build a network of resources that will increase their chances of academic and personal success and prepare them for life after college. In addition, student-athletes must become integrated into campus life to achieve their full potential.

The following programs and services are in place to help student-athletes attain their academic goals:

Attendance Policy

All student-athletes are responsible for attending every class period except for those periods or days excused with institutional excuses for athletics. Some student-athletes are required to have the "attendance" form completed and signed each time they attend class:

All dates each class meets should be recorded on the "attendance" form with a coach/mentor to confirm when students should be in class.

The student-athlete will be responsible for obtaining signatures on the "attendance" form from your professor/instructor at the end of each day's class in which they do have an institutional excuse for.

As is stated on their financial aid agreement, student-athletes receiving athletics-based financial awards may have their scholarship reduced or cancelled if they fail to attend all classes, with the exception of excused absences, and participate at the level expected of all students.


Early Registration for Student-Athletes

Student-athletes are afforded the opportunity to participate in early registration, enabling student-athletes to accommodate practice schedules while continuing to make progress towards graduation. Student-athletes are grouped with seniors and honor students for registration, which is typically two weeks before the general student population. In order to utilize priority registration, student-athletes must have all holds cleared from their account and meet with both their academic advisor for advisement and activation and athletic coordinator. Clearing holds is strictly the responsibility of the student-athlete although Student-Athlete Development does send a "holds report" out to coaches in the three weeks prior to early enrollment. Student-Athlete Development staff assists student-athletics with early enrollment. Student-athletes are highly encouraged to take advantage of this session.

Lumberjack Community Outreach

NAU Athletics is committed to giving back in meaningful ways to the community that supports us. Community Outreach is critical in building relationships with prominent non-profit organizations in Flagstaff and the surrounding area. Each Lumberjack student-athlete commits at least ten hours of community service each academic year. In the 2015-16 academic year, NAU Athletics contributed over 5,200 hours of service.

Online Courses

Northern Arizona University Department of Athletics supports and reflects the approach of Northern Arizona University at large in regards to student-athlete enrollment in online courses, with the exception that student-athletes are required to sign an online course integrity contract prior to each semester during which they are enrolled in an online course. This contract acknowledges that the student-athlete understands the implications of enrolling in an online, web course and that they agree to standards of academic integrity set forth by the university.

Progress Reports

Progress reports provide necessary feedback to monitor all student-athletes current performance in courses and enable the academic staff and coaches to follow up with student-athletes if there are academic concerns. All student-athletes will have progress reports completed at least once a semester. Student-athletes who receive a "D" or "F" on a progress report will be required to complete a written Action Plan with the faculty for the course in which the "D" or "F" was received.

Proactive Mentoring

Each year approximately 75-100 first year student-athletes will be selected to participate in NAU's ProActive Mentor program. Proactive mentoring targets students who Student-Athlete Development believes may benefit from academic mentoring. Student-athletes are selected based on incoming grade-point average/test score and coach's recommendation. Student-athletes are expected to attend a weekly meeting with their assigned academic services staff member. Student-athletes are expected to attend all meetings and to report on their progress in each class. Academic Coordinators and graduate assistants serve as mentors, as well as associated professionals campus wide. Mentor reports are sent to each coach on a weekly basis.

Student-Athlete Life Skills & Transitions to College (NAU 199)

NAU 199 is a course designed by a partnership between Student-Athlete Development and the Academic Transition Program coordinated by a representative in the New Student Programs area. The course will assist student-athletes with career, personal and academic development, provide diversity education and provide NCAA education regarding eligibility, rules & regulations. All freshmen student-athletes are recommended to take the course during their first year of enrollment at NAU. It is offered in the fall semester only, and enrollment is dependent on seat availability. The course is taught by Student-Athlete Development staff.

Study Hall Policy

All incoming freshmen, first semester transfer students, and continuing student-athletes with lower than a 2.5 cum GPA are required by the Athletics Department to complete five hours of study hall each week. Qualifying transfer students will be exempt from study hall if they receive a 3.0 following their first semester. Many teams require additional study hall hours at the discretion of the coach and/or academic liaison. Study hall hours are to be completed by 2pm every Friday afternoon. If "green sheets" are not received by that time, they will not be counted. Prior to the beginning of each semester, every qualifying student-athlete must attend a mandatory orientation meeting during which the academic support staff will review appropriate behavior, study hall rules, changes in policy & where hours may be earned. Penalties for not completing the mandated hours are enforced by coaching staffs.


All tutors working in either the North or South Learning Assistance Center are available free of charge to student-athletes. To arrange one-on-one tutoring (Master Schedule), please see Student-Athlete Development staff for a referral letter. If a student-athlete misses two tutoring appointments without cancelling at least 24 hours prior to the meeting, the student-athlete will be charged for the following appointment(s). 

Academic Advisement

All first year freshman student-athletes are assigned to an academic advisor at the Gateway Student Success Center (GSSC). After the student-athletes first year, they will be assigned to a college advisor if they have declared a major while those who are undecided will remain assigned to a GSSC advisor. Student-athletes must declare a major before entering their 5th semester, and need to meet with their specified advisor prior to early enrollment. For more information on Gateway, please visit their website at