It’s stressful to be a college student. It’s even more stressful to be an athlete and a college student trying to keep grades up with missed classes. For example, track & field athletes just returned from a meet on Sunday. They left on Friday and missed a day of lectures. Some athletes go on weekly meets and may not attend Thursday or Friday lectures until the season ends. If you know an athlete or you are one, you know that your grades are important. If grades drop below what the coach expects, athletes can be assigned study hall hours, and a low GPA can keep a player on the sidelines for a semester.
Study hours are planned to help athletes study consciously and get their grades up. I believe this plan is inadequate. These athletes are trying to catch up with lectures, labs, and sometimes tests they’ve missed. Having study times doesn’t fix that problem. The intended advantage is to make sure athletes take time out to study. But how can they know what to study? How can they know what the professor brushed through or spoke extensively on?
As of now, athletes probably borrow notes from fellow students in order to catch up, but this is not the best option. How many students take good notes, with good handwriting too? Most make highlights in the textbook, and some just pay attention by noting keywords. It would be difficult for an athlete to use notes in such a circumstance. There might be some students who take good notes, but it will take a lot for an athlete to find those in each class. That would be time consuming, tiring, and probably impossible.
Access Services’ note-taking program may be the solution. This program provides notes to students with disabilities to aid them in studying. Some of my professors asked for students interested in note taking this semester. I did some exploring, and I found that interested students were trained to take notes and were paid at the end of each semester.
Minot State’s Access Services currently employs and manages note-takers. A partnership with athletics would be a good way to start helping student-athletes. This way, administration won’t have to build up a structure for note taking in the blink of an eye. This is cost-effective and will create time to monitor and observe how much it helps and supports the athletes. This way, we can get a sip before we drink.
Since note-takers are trained and paid for their services, we can be sure that this would make standard notes available for our athletes. They will know what to read and exactly what their professor wants. They will know what to study, and that will help their performance in tests. With a steady grade, athletes may not need study hours anymore. All they will need is good notes from a note-taker.