An athletic scholarship is one of the highest sought after opportunities for athletes. Each year, there are roughly 180,000 athletic scholarships available for adolescent student athletes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals with a post-secondary education have a less likely chance for unemployment, they earn a higher income, and have greater job satisfaction. One should choose a major for their post-secondary education based on their interest, values, passion and abilities. But academic clustering prevents this choice among student athletes. Academic Clustering is defined as 25% or more of members of a sports team being enrolled into a single major, this is primarily represented in football and basketball. Academic Clustering is a result of adolescent student athletes not being well prepared for college. Research revealed that adolescent student athletes tend to view college as a means to obtain a professional sports career and they ignore other career options. To increase career awareness and help adolescent student athletes choose a college major and career, we have developed a customized career awareness software system specifically for those who play football. The system was developed using principles from culturally relevant computing and artificial intelligence natural language interfaces to give the user a personalized interaction. This research observed how 76 adolescent student athletes interacted with the system and how it impacted their career motivation. Results show that 70% of the participants were introduced to new career options, and 83% reported that the system helped them think more about their career goals.
Assistant Instructional Teaching Professor, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, University of Florida, Florida, United States
ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT, ACADEMIC CLUSTERING, COMPUTER SCIENCE