“I Have Grown”: A Case Study of Student-Athlete Career Development at Clemson University
Keywords:case study, career development, mentorship, programmin, student-athletes, internship
Student-athletes are burdened with demands, expectations, and stressors that pose challenges to their personal development, rendering many student-athletes ill-prepared for career choices outside the sports milieu. Internships are vital to the skill development for all students. Clemson’s University Professional Internship and Co-op Program (UPIC) offers on-campus internship opportunities for qualifying students. Informed by student involvement theory (Astin, 1984), the purpose of this case study was to examine Clemson student-athlete’s perceptions of participating in the UPIC program. Although the student-athletes experienced challenges during their internships, the data revealed that the internship was instrumental in the professional development of the participants, specifically in the areas of communication, collaboration, and work ethic. Overall, 88.89% of student-athletes felt their internship was very relevant to their career goals. This case study provides an example of cross-campus collaborative programming that assisted in the career development of student-athletes and should be implemented at other colleges and universities.
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