The Texas Southern University Department of Athletics was one of 13 NCAA Division I institutions to receive a $100,000 NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program grant for the 2021-22 academic year. 

“I want to thank the NCAA for providing us the opportunity to help support our student-athletes in their academic pursuits,” said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Kevin Granger. “I also want to commend our Assistant Athletic Director of Academic Enhancement Kim Evans and staff for their hard work and assistance in securing this grant and working with our student-athletes on a daily basis to ensure they have a well-rounded experience both inside and outside the classroom and playing fields.” 

This marks the fourth time TSU has received the grant as the 2021-22 funds mark the most TSU has ever received in a single year. 

“We are ecstatic to receive this funding from the NCAA AASP,” said Evans. “We are in the midst of developing programming for our student-athletes as these funds will enhance their collegiate experience.”

Before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the TSU Athletics’ Academic Enhancement Department, led by Evans and a dedicated staff of academic advisors, carefully studied the study habits and needs of TSU’s 300-plus student-athletes and found several areas the department could impact immediately prior to applying for the grant.

“We noticed technology access was an area that stood out during the pandemic once we shifted to online only in March of 2020 along with student-athlete development as they moved closer towards graduation,” said Evans. “This single-year grant is a jump start to provide our students with resources to add to their tool kits while they are on campus and as they begin to transition off-campus into the next chapter of their lives.”   

Evans’ staff will use the grant resources to focus on three initiatives for the 2021-2022 academic year as they’ll develop programming centered around Student-Athlete Development, Technology Access and Staff/Student Professional Development.

Student-athletes will undergo a series of professional development workshops designed to prepare them for life after graduation. They’ll have a hand in selecting the workshop topics along with opportunities to engage, network and connect with the local community. In terms of technology, the department will purchase additional laptops for student-athletes to use while traveling due to the rapid expansion of online learning while also having additional laptops available for on-campus classes. Evans also wants her staff to undergo additional professional development to stay abreast of the new rules and regulations along with learning new trends and techniques when it comes to engagement with today’s student-athletes.