|| Step 1 - Assessment
The levels of academic preparation, educational orientation
and career interests for all incoming student-athletes
are evaluated. A staff learning specialist administers
a variety of academic skills and career interest assessments.
Individual academic support plans are then tailored
to match a student-athlete's academic skills and career
interests. Furthermore, all new student-athletes are
required to participate in a University orientation,
which includes assessment in mathematics placement
and foreign language, among others.
|| Step 2 - Skill Development
A comprehensive tutoring program of approximately 60
tutors provides one-to-one and small-group instruction.
Student-athletes are assisted with study skills, problem-solving
techniques and specific course material. Athletic Student
Life Office counselors may recommend tutors or a student-athlete
may request one independently.
The Study Skills Center provides student-athletes
with assistance in college reading strategies and individual
instruction for reading improvement. Meanwhile, the
Thompson Writing Center offers a dynamic, positive
atmosphere to help student-athletes generate ideas
and strategies for writing assignments. Consultants
help student-athletes organize papers, review grammatical
basics, develop proofreading and library research skills,
and design resumes. A learning specialist regularly
conducts time management and study skills workshops.
The staff's goal is to help student-athletes become
independent writers and learners in the academic environment.
Understanding computers and having access to them
on a regular basis are essential to today's successful
student. The two Athletic Computer Centers, also located
in the Prentice Gautt Academic Center, provide student-athletes
with computer knowledge and access. The Athletic Computer
Centers are open six days a week with extended hours
offered during peak times.
The Kerr Foundation Foreign Language Center was
established to assist student-athletes with speaking,
listening, reading and writing in different languages.
The Center, coordinated by a Modern Languages department
instructor, offers a top-notch multimedia environment
for all foreign language instruction.
Realizing the increasing role mathematics plays
in society today, the Prentice Gautt Academic Center
aims to help all student-athletes achieve an understanding
of math and related topics in their course work. The
Mathematics Center offers regular instruction for student-athletes
placed in preparatory mathematics courses and tutorial
consultation in all math and statistics courses.
At OU, non-athletic career preparation is enhanced
through workshops in resume development, job search
strategies, interviewing skills and graduate school
preparation assistance. The Sooner Career Program is
dedicated to educating student-athletes about the world
of work and providing a transition from college athletics
to their first careers. The program includes the OU
Career Fair, career information seminars, opportunities
for summer internships in various fields, an employment
referral service and mentorship opportunities for graduating
Effective communication well is an essential skill
in successful personal and professional interaction
for OU student athletes. The OU Communications Center
offers training for effective oral communication and
media relations. A working media conference room featuring
a stage and modern audio-visual systems is available
in a state-of-the-art communications center.
|| Step 3 - Counseling
Student-athletes receive caring, professional support
from Dr. Gerald Gurney and his staff at all levels.
This support may take several forms, including career
choice, academic or personal decisions. Four professional
athletic academic counselors are present to help student-athletes
through the educational process.
Approximately one counselor per 100 student-athletes
is available to assist the student-athletes with planning
class schedules, choosing degree programs and setting
personal and academic goals. Course attendance and
course performance are checked a minimum of four times
per semester for each student-athlete participating
in the intercollegiate athletic program.
The personal health and nutritional needs of student-athletes
are monitored by the OU Sports Medicine staff of physicians
and certified athletic trainers. The Jefferson Dining
Hall makes every effort to accommodate the special
dietary and nutritional requirements of all OU student-athletes.
|| Step 4 - Faculty Relations
The faculty guest program's purpose is to enhance the
athletic department's relationship with the faculty
and staff. Faculty members are selected to be guest
coaches for the week in all sports throughout the academic
year. During that time, the faculty guests are provided
with a list of planned activities that are designed
to give them an opportunity to experience various aspects
of the athletic department's operations and introduce
them to student-athlete lifestyles and expectations.
|| Step 5 - Resident Life
Student-athletes reside in a variety of University
housing environments, including the Sooner Housing
Center. The Sooner Housing Center, managed by Athletic
Student Life staff, is located across the street from
Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. It provides a living environment
that is conducive to the academic and personal development
of student-athletes. The Sooner Housing Center was
the winner of the 1998 President's Trophy for the outstanding
housing center on the OU campus and was recognized
for its contribution to academic excellence, innovative
programming and campus diversity. The Sooner Housing
Center was also selected as the President's Trophy
runner-up in 1997 and 2000.
|| Step 6 - Life Skills & More
OU is a member of the NCAA's Life Skills Program and
is dedicated to contributing to the growth and development
of student-athletes through academic excellence, athletic
excellence, personal development, community service
and career development.
The OU Athletic Student Life program places special
emphasis upon recognition of outstanding academic performances
by student-athletes. Scholar-athletes with a 3.0 GPA
and above are recognized each semester at halftime
of a football or men's basketball game. An awards banquet
is held in the Spring to recognize scholar-athletes
and special award winners.
Graduating student-athletes receive recognition
prior to OU's graduation ceremonies in May at a reception.
Each is given an "O" ring, representing their athletic
participation and graduation from the University of
Oklahoma. All scholarship student-athletes who exhaust
their eligibility within eight semesters may receive
an additional year of financial aid within a six-year
Student-athlete leaders from each sport comprise
the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, which aims to improve
communication with the Athletics Department and University
administration regarding student-athletes' needs and
concerns. The Student-Athlete Advisory Board developed
a community outreach partnership with the Oklahoma
Youth Center, a local residential facility for physically,
mentally and sexually abused children.
The board also designs programs that encourage
excellence in academics and social responsibility and
serve to represent student-athletes on campus-wide