A critical quantitative exploration of collegiate student-athlete academic involvement
Smith, Carrie Virginia
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to utilize critical quantitative methodology to analyze previously collected data by a nationally distributed survey instrument, with the goal of conceptualizing Academic Involvement as it pertains to collegiate student-athletes and their racial and ethnic identities. The researcher selected Critical Race Theory as the foundational critical theory upon which to frame the research design. The researcher requested responses from the 2014 administration of the Your First College Year survey, an instrument produced by the Higher Education Research Institute located at the University of California, Los Angeles. The information collected represented the constructs of (a) Academic Disengagement, (b) Ease of Adjustment to College, and (c) Habits of Mind in addition to demographic data. Responses from both collegiate student-athletes and collegiate student nonathletes were considered. Total scores from these three constructs were averaged to produce a composite score of the researcher-created construct of Academic Involvement. Statistical analysis and data disaggregation found that the magnitude of Academic Involvement is similar for student-athletes across racial and ethnic identities. Additional statistical analysis identified a five-factor structure for the construct of Academic Involvement that applied to a sample of collegiate student nonathletes and collegiate student-athletes. The study seeks to shift the discussion about student-athletes to highlight their academic involvement, rather than discussing them from a deficit perspective. This discussion is framed by tenets of the critical quantitative methodology. Implications for student affairs practitioners working directly with student-athletes or on campuses with student-athletes, as well as implications for those desiring to use apply critical quantitative methods to their research and practice, are discussed in light of the findings from the statistical analysis.