The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Making the grade
Kelvin Sanders || [email protected]

Free tutoring, printing, computer use, and Internet access.

These are just some of the free services available to City College student-athletes enrolled in Sports 90 – Academic Study Skills for Student-Athletes.

More than just a place for freebies, Sports 90 is also a lecture/lab course designed for academically at-risk student-athletes. The course is structured as a way to empower students with the tools necessary to successfully juggle academics and sports.

Although student-athletes are not required to take Sports 90, study skills lab coordinator Professor Deborah Blair says enrolling is still a wise decision.

“We found that [student-athlete] GPAs are higher, the completion rate of classes is higher, the transfer and graduation rates are higher than normal students in every category,” said Blair.

City College nutrition major Paul Buchanan, a 20-year-old member of the wrestling team, says he has found the class useful.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “There is a free printer in there, which is really good.”

There are other benefits too, he added.

“There are some tutors in there and Ms. Blair is really helpful too,” he said. “[The class] is a pretty useful tool. A lot of the students [in Sports 90] have the same classes so it’s a good place for them to get together and study.”

Buchanan’s teammate, Bryant Wood, 18, undecided major, agrees.

“[Sports 90] forces you to lay down some time to study; it’s a good reminder to stay on top of things,” said Wood. “It’s also a grade check. So if you’re failing any classes it makes you aware of it and helps me to keep in touch with my teachers – to communicate better.”
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Julie Ferrara-Jones, adjunct professor of kinesiology and athletics, teaches two sections of Sports 90 said she believes that the environment inside the classroom adds to the value of the program.

“The benefits are tremendous for the students that utilize the study skills lab. Sport 90 provides student-athletes with an environment conducive to studying; it’s quiet, they can work in small study groups, they have access to computers, as well as tutors,” said Ferrara-Jones. “Sports 90 gives them an opportunity to be productive and get school work done prior to going to their scheduled practices.”

Sports 90 also includes lectures that cover topics for improving common courtesy skills and face-to-face communication skills. Other lecture topics include note-taking skills and even how to do a grade check.

Blair says she believes that living in a digital society and relying on electronics to communicate with others often means that common courtesy skills and face-to-face skills need improving.

“When kids ask me if I have Facebook, I tell them no,” said Blair. “I’m just not that way. My relations are face to face. [Studentathletes] admit that they have become textaddicted. I text because I have to.”

Ferrara-Jones also explained that Sports 90 is just one of many means available for student-athletes to succeed academically.

“I think Sports 90 is an excellent resource for student-athletes here at SCC in addition to other outstanding resources such as the [Learning Resouce Center], the math lab, and the writing center,” said Ferrara-Jones. “All SCC students have access to an incredible amount of support to help them be successful; they just need to take advantage of those resources.”

Ferrara-Jones and Blair perhaps understand more than most the importance of student-athletes maintaining good grades — both are former student athletes as well as collegiate coaches, with Ferrara-Jones still serving as an assistant coach for the City College track and field program.

“We try to make getting their homework done and tutoring a part of their day,” said Blair.

“We ask them to [take Sports 90] because we want them to be successful.”

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