Juggling practices, games, and school is always difficult for any athlete, but how well do coaches at NDNU respect the athlete’s they have a student? The athletes at NDNU have coaches that support their academic career, and wish for them to succeed in their studies.
Even though there are many student athletes at NDNU that are able to graduate with their intended major, there are still a handful of students that either quit their sport or change their major because of the workload that they have. Sophomore lacrosse player, Alberto Gutierrez, states that, “Last year one of my business teachers tried to convince me to change my major. He told me that being a business major is going to be too hard for a student-athlete. That bugged me because the material that we covered in that class was not like a reason why I shouldn’t continue in business it was just one class and anyone could pass it,” although Alberto did not change his major, he now understands why his business teacher thought that. However, he is happy to have coaches that support his academic career and give him enough time in the day to do our homework. He shares, “that’s one of the main benefits of having practice so early in the morning. Even though it may be hard to get up in the morning, it gives me enough time during the rest of my day to do everything I need to do.” Alberto finished by telling me that travel does not hurt their grades if they communicate well with their teachers.
Karen Plesur, a teacher in the Communications department, says, “I try my best to work with my students so that their travel time with their sport does not greatly affect their grade in my class,” due to her class requirements of projects using a specific computer program that is hard to have the access to. She also stated, “I think it’s every professor’s fear to have a student that is not truly interested in their major. However, I try to make my class interesting, so they can truly enjoy it.” Karen Plesur continued explaining to me that usually they would have to have short tutorial sessions either in class, or with another classmate. She states, “As long as they communicate with me they seem to do fine. The worst is when I don’t see them for a week and find out they were travel when they come back.”
Karen Plesur and Alberto Gutierrez are just a few examples of how the student-athletes and teachers try their best to juggle the commitments that these students have. Karen Plesur is a teacher from NDNU that works with the student so they are able to keep their grade, however this may not be the case with every teacher on campus. We can only hope that every student athlete graduates their university with the major that they desire. However, NDNU has professors that are willing to work with their students to help get them there.