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Cadet-Athlete Development
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com  
Release: 12/30/2007

The former Athletic Academic Advising office is now the Cadet-Athlete Development office. For information on the mission and programs of the Cadet-Athlete Development staff, please call J.B. Weber at 464-7722 or Sarah Keller at 464-7379. 

Cadet-Athlete Development

Mission Statement:

The VMI Cadet-Athlete Development Office’s mission is to foster the character, intellectual and academic development of Virginia Military Institute NCAA cadet-athletes beginning with their transitional experience and culminating with their graduation from the Institute through programming which seeks to engender the values of self-advocacy, independent learning and ownership of their educational opportunities.

The hours of operation for the Cadet-Athlete Development Office while a regular academic term is in session are as follows:

Sunday - Closed
Monday - 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., 8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday - 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., 8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday - 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., 8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Thursday - 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., 8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Friday - 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Saturday - Closed

Summer session hours will be determined by demand for services and posted accordingly.

Athletic-Academic Advising Program at the VMI Cadet-Athlete Development Office is dedicated to supporting the Institute’s faculty advising system. Athletic-academic advisors encourage cadet-athletes to engage with their major department faculty academic advisor whenever possible. As an additional academic resource for cadet-athletes and coaches, a professional athletic-academic advisor is assigned to work with each of VMI’s eighteen intercollegiate athletic teams. The goal of the Athletic-Academic Advising Program is to foster cadet-athlete ownership of their educational opportunities. Athletic-academic advisors serve as resources for cadet-athletes and coaches on continuing NCAA academic eligibility requirements, institutional degree completion requirements, and institutional academic policies and practices. Athletic academic advisors also serve as liaisons between the academic departments and offices of VMI and intercollegiate athletic coaches. Each coach and cadet-athlete should know the academic-athletic advisor assigned to work with his or her team, and use them as a primary contact for access to cadet-athlete development services and to make referrals to other academic resources on post.

Cadet-Athlete Development Programs

Community Service Program provides cadet-athletes with opportunities for personal development through service to others. The focus of the program is offer cadet-athletes hands on service learning opportunities. A central component of the program is the athletic depart community service registry, which requires coaches and cadet-athlete leaders to register and receive approval for community service projects and initiatives from the Cadet-Athlete Development Office. This registry and approval procedure ensures that initiatives are compliant with NCAA legislation, that the Institute’s cadet-athletes are offered diverse service experiences and allows the Cadet-Athlete Development Office to encourage the proliferation of service learning projects within the Institute’s NCAA athletic community. The Cadet-Athlete Development Office also works with KAAC (Keydet-Athlete Advisory Committee) on planning their community service outreach, and to develop department-wide community service projects open to all VMI cadet-athletes across all eighteen intercollegiate athletic teams.

Life Skills Program provides cadet-athletes with workshops on relevant issues that confront them in their daily lives or will confront them upon graduation. Topics for these workshops include financial literacy, sexual assault prevention, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, recognizing depression, and career development. The life skills program partners with offices on post like the Career Center and off post specialist to bring workshops to VMI cadet-athletes. Although some of the workshops are offer during the academic year, most life skills programming takes place during the summer months when the cadet-athletes on post for summer classes have time to explore these important topics. Participation in all life skills workshops is voluntary.

VMI Athletic Academic Honors Program is administered by the Cadet-Athlete Development Office. Its goal is to encourage VMI cadet-athletes to strive for superior achievement in the classroom by recognizing their outstanding academic accomplishments. The Cadet-Athlete Development Office is responsible for determining which cadet-athletes and intercollegiate teams meet the prescribed criteria for each honor, and in concert with the sports information office, publishing those honors to the post and community at large. (Link to Honors Page)

Cadet-Athlete Leadership Program/KAAC (Keydet-Athlete Advisory Committee) is a group of cadet-athlete leaders who serve the Institute by representing the concerns of the VMI cadet-athlete population to VMI’s athletic administration, the Southern Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and the NCAA through the national SAAC. KAAC is also a committed community service organization that participates in various projects and initiatives throughout the year. The Cadet-Athlete Development Office provides administrative and logistical support to KAAC as one of the office’s athletic academic advisors services as the athletic administration’s advisor/liaison to KAAC. In addition to KAAC, the Cadet-Athlete Development Office periodically conducts leadership development workshops for the cadet-athlete members of KAAC that include a service learning component and a leadership instruction component. The Cadet-Athlete Development Office also selects deserving cadet-athletes to attend the Southern Conference Student-Athlete Leadership Institute (SALI) and the Southern Conference Winter SAAC Meeting.

Tutoring Programs

Group Tutoring Program The Cadet-Athlete Development Office makes group tutoring available for all cadet-athletes in traditionally difficult core curriculum courses. Group tutoring takes place in the Cadet-Athlete Development Office on weeknights from 8 to 10pm. Sessions are led by professional tutors and last one hour. Groups usually consist of 4-8 cadet-athletes a session. Tutors are trained to use Socratic methodology to foster independent learning skills in their pupils. Group tutoring is conducted on a drop in basis so cadet-athletes do not need to worry about making advanced reservations. Cadet-Athletes interested in group tutoring should contact their team’s athletic academic advisor or see the information board in Carroll 210 where group tutoring offerings and session times are posted.

Individual Tutoring Program A limited amount of one on one tutoring is available to cadet-athletes through the Cadet-Athlete Development Office. Individual tutoring is only available when authorized by cadet-athlete’s athletic-academic advisor. Athletic-academic advisors prioritize which cadet-athletes receive individual tutoring. Once authorized, individual tutoring appointments are scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time by the tutor and cadet-athlete. These appointments then occur once per week for one hour through the course of the semester. In exceptional situations athletic-academic advisor may authorize a cadet-athlete to have an additional individual session with his or her tutor a week. Individual tutoring usually occurs during the academic day in Carroll Hall 210. Individual tutoring is provided in traditionally difficult core curriculum courses and tutors are trained to use non-directive socratic methodology to foster independent learning skills in their pupils.

Retention Programs

The Rat-Athlete Transitional Program (Every Fall) consists of a weekly individual half-hour academic counselling appointment with an academic advisor or assistant academic advisor, a twice-weekly evening guide study session, and additional subject specific tutoring as needed. The focus of the academic counselling and learning strategies meetings has a dual purpose. First, these meetings focus on helping rat cadet-athletes with transitional issues, such as organization and planning. These two issues are particularly important for cadet-athletes because of team travel commitments which may require a student-athlete to miss classes. Second, these weekly meetings serve as an early warning system. By getting weekly academic feedback from cadet-athletes, the academic advisor can identify and address potential academic problems quickly.

All rat cadet-athletes are also required to attend guided study sessions during the fall semester. These guided study sessions are held twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm. During guided study sessions, cadets-athletes have access to the full range of tutoring services provided by the VMI Cadet-Athlete Development Office, the Open Math Lab, The Miller Academic Center and the Writing Center. The guided study sessions consist of a study hall room where rat cadet-athletes must report. Upon arrival, rat cadet-athletes my choose to study in the study hall room or fill out a guided study plan to take advantage one of a number of pre-approved on campus academic locations (i.e. Open Math Lab, Preston Library, VMI Cadet-Athlete Development Office group tutoring, the Writing Center or Miller Academic Center Group Study Sessions). VMI Cadet-Athlete Development Office staff monitoring the guided study sessions will periodically through the session time check the pre-approved academic locations to verify that the rat cadet-athletes who have filled out guided study plans are there and doing academic work. Additionally, the staffs monitoring guided study sessions is composed of fulltime advisors, intern assistant advisors, and selected tutors whose expertise is aimed at addressing the traditional academic weaknesses of student-athletes.

The goal of the study sessions is to encourage academic engagement and create access to the full range of academic services the VMI campus has to offer. These sessions also provide rat cadet-athletes the opportunity to make independent study decisions and still maintain some level of monitoring and accountability. Furthermore, it creates regular contact with the VMI Cadet-Athlete Development Office staff and works in concert with the weekly academic counselling appointments.

Athletic Department At-Risk Program (Fall and Spring) is mandatory for any student-athlete whose cumulative GPA drops below a 2.25 or passes less than 12 hours the previous academic term.

During the fall semester, any upper class cadet-athlete that does not meet this standard will be required to attend guided study sessions one night a week on Mondays from 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm. These at-risk student-athletes are also required to attend weekly thirty minute academic counseling and learning strategies appointments. The guided study sessions will be conducted similar to those of the Rat Transitional Program (described above). However there will be much more individual attention and closer supervision of the At-Risk upper classmen during their guided study sessions and the list of pre-approved locations that they can submit guided study plans will be much smaller and more closely monitored.

During the spring semester, At-Risk Program is mandatory for any student-athlete whose cumulative GPA drops below 2.25 and/or passes less than 12 hours in the previous academic term. Guided Study Sessions will be three nights a week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm. Cadet-athletes are also required to attend weekly academic counseling and learning strategies appointments. Head Coaches may require that cadet-athletes who exceed the department requirements for mandatory participation in the At-Risk Program to attend study hall and/or weekly academic counseling and learning strategies appointments.

Academic Counseling and Learning Strategies Program (Fall and Spring) in addition to the required meetings which are part of the Rat-Athlete Transitional Program, and the At-Risk Program, the VMI Cadet-Athlete Development Office also makes individual academic counseling and leaning strategies meetings available to cadet-athletes. Head Coaches may require a cadet-athlete to attend weekly academic counseling meetings as well. This program targets cadet-athlete who may recently have been in the At-Risk Program or on Academic Probation and may need additional support to assist them in finding their path to continued academic success. The weekly meetings focus on helping cadet-athletes develop academic skills and strategies. In these meetings, academic advisors and assistant academic advisors work with cadet-athletes on topics like organization, planning, test taking strategies and learning style driven study plans. These weekly meetings serve as an early warning system. By getting weekly academic feedback from cadet-athletes, the academic professionals can identify and address potential academic problems quickly and make the appropriate referrals.



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