NCAA Division I Subdivisions and the Background of Athletic Academic Advisors

Jim Watkins – University of North Alabama
Kelsey Slater – North Dakota State University
Leslie Chang – Guild Education

The present study examined the relationship between the background of NCAA Division I athletic academic advisors and the subdivision of their athletic department (Power Five, FCS, etc.). Previous research has focused on the educational background and occupational experiences of athletic academic advisors (Rubin, 2017). In addition, research has found that a school’s NCAA subdivision is significantly associated with other factors, such as athletic academic support budget, the years of experience held by their directors of academic support and the gender of their athletic academic advisors (Judge et al., 2018; Lumpkin et al., 2014). The present study examined the relationship between membership within four NCAA Division I subdivisions, “Power Five”, “Group of Five”, FCS and “non-football playing”, and the work conditions, educational backgrounds, gender, race and occupational backgrounds of athletic academic advisors. The researchers distributed a questionnaire through the National Association for Academic Advisors of Athletics (N4A), and 413 athletic academic advisors were included in the sample. The results indicated that some work conditions and occupational experiences were significantly associated with NCAA Division I subdivision. These findings imply that the backgrounds of athletic academic advisors provide another example of a gap in resources between NCAA Division I institutions.