Champs/Life Skills

Welcome to the Stephen F. Austin State University NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Program. In 1991, the NCAA Foundation initiated efforts to create a total development program for student-athletes. Through the collaborative efforts of the NCAA Foundation and the Division 1A Athletic Directors' Association, the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program (Challenging Athletes' Minds for Personal Success) was created. In 1994, after several years of development by the NCAA Foundation, the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program was launched to the NCAA membership. The mission of the CHAMPS (Challenging Athletes Minds for Personal Success) program is to support student-athletes in their academic, athletic, career, personal and community endeavors. Through specific programs, the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program by the Stephen F. Austin Intercollegiate Athletics Department represents the university's commitment to providing services and support to meet student-athletes changing needs while in college and in their future endeavors.

Today, the NCAA Education Outreach staff oversees the development of the program, offering services, support and programs to participating institutions throughout the year. The CHAMPS/Life Skills Program is supported through the promotional and financial efforts of the NCAA Leadership Advisory Board and the NCAA national office.

The CHAMPS/Life Skills Program at SFA also provides a College Adjustment course, facilitated by the CHAMPS/Life Skills Coordinator and the Asst Athletic Director for Student Services, in which freshmen student-athletes can earn degree credit while learning what it takes to be a successful student-athlete at the collegiate level. The course acts as an introduction to SFA and life as a student-athlete and also fosters good time-management and study skills. After taking the course, student-athletes are more aware of their own study habits and their effectiveness, as well as knowing university and NCAA policies and regulations.

CHAMPS/Life Skills Mission

The mission of the NCAA is to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the campus educational program and the student-athlete as an integral part of the student body. With this in mind, the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program was created to support the student-athlete development initiatives of NCAA member institutions and to enhance the quality of the student-athlete experience within the context of higher education.

In the process of achieving this mission, the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program will:

  • Promote student-athletes' ownership of their academic, athletic, career, personal and community responsibilities.
  • Meet the changing needs of student-athletes.
  • Promote respect for diversity and inclusion among student-athletes.
  • Assist student-athletes in identifying and applying transferable skills.
  • Enhance partnerships between the NCAA, member institutions and their communities for the purpose of education.
  • Foster an environment that encourages student-athletes to effectively access campus resources.
  • Encourage the development of character, integrity and leadership skills.

Participating institutions in the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program are provided with instructional materials and supplemental resources which support a student-athlete's development in five areas: academics, athletics, personal development, career development and community service.

CHAMPS/Life Skills Program Commitment Statements

Commitment to Academic Excellence
To support the academic progress of the student-athlete toward intellectual development and graduation.

Commitment to Athletic Excellence
To build philosophical foundations for the development of athletic programs that are broad-based, equitable and dedicated to the well-being of the student-athlete.

Commitment to Personal Development
To support the development of a well-balanced lifestyle for student-athletes, encouraging emotional well-being, leadership, personal growth and decision-making skills.

Commitment to Career Development
To encourage the student-athlete to develop and pursue career and life goals.

Commitment to Service
To engage the student-athlete in service to his or her campus and surrounding communities.

Contact Information
Loree M. C. McCary, ATC, LAT
Senior Woman Admistrator
CHAMPS/Life Skills Coordinator


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