Giving It the Old College Try: Understanding Degree Commitment among Division I FBS NFL Aspirants

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/228181
Title:
Giving It the Old College Try: Understanding Degree Commitment among Division I FBS NFL Aspirants
Author:
Martinez, Guadalupe Federico
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Building on sociological studies regarding college choice and persistence, this qualitative study investigates the college and post college experiences of 15 current students with NFL aspirations and 13 former students who held NFL aspirations, all from Division I Football Bowl Series (FBS) programs. A phenomenological design is implemented to explore participants' lived experiences, and awareness of their educational and occupational options. Deil-Amen and Tevis' (2010) Circumscribed Agency frames this study and provides a lens for examining the college choice and departure process. The role of the student exerting agency as circumscribed by context, habitus, and self-efficacy is emphasized with self-perceptions being essential in the process of enacting individual behavior and decisions. Perna's (2006) conceptual college choice model is made up of four contextual layers and is used to further explain students' college choice behaviors. Findings are consistent with Bowen and Schulman (2001) in that students' college decisions are driven by their athletic pursuits. This study also addresses persistence for this group of students. Tinto's (1993) theory on departure is used as a platform from which to examine commitment and social integration. Traditionally, degree commitment has been measured as strong or which severely limits our understanding of persistence. Findings reveal degree commitment to be fluid and contingent upon perceived occupational options, health status, and year in college. The majority of current students express commitment to degree attainment as a priority. However, further investigation reveals degree commitment to exist without a specific time frame set by students. This adds a time dimension to our understanding of degree commitment. This study further extends Tinto's concept of commitment with evidence of two competing goal commitments: degree and occupational. Decisions to leave college early for the NFL are driven by participants' self-perception of their athletic abilities despite where they are on the team's talent roster. This decision is further shaped by their college community integration consisting of teammates, coaches, and the NFL. Former students who stopped out of college reveal unanticipated challenges with re-entry into college. However, in contemplating a return to complete their bachelor’s degree, stop outs articulate a renewed sense of energy and degree commitment given a change in their occupational trajectory and situated context.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Degree Attainment; Higher Education; Athletics; Commitment
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Higher Education
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Deil-Amen, Regina J.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleGiving It the Old College Try: Understanding Degree Commitment among Division I FBS NFL Aspirantsen_US
dc.creatorMartinez, Guadalupe Federicoen_US
dc.contributor.authorMartinez, Guadalupe Federicoen_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractBuilding on sociological studies regarding college choice and persistence, this qualitative study investigates the college and post college experiences of 15 current students with NFL aspirations and 13 former students who held NFL aspirations, all from Division I Football Bowl Series (FBS) programs. A phenomenological design is implemented to explore participants' lived experiences, and awareness of their educational and occupational options. Deil-Amen and Tevis' (2010) Circumscribed Agency frames this study and provides a lens for examining the college choice and departure process. The role of the student exerting agency as circumscribed by context, habitus, and self-efficacy is emphasized with self-perceptions being essential in the process of enacting individual behavior and decisions. Perna's (2006) conceptual college choice model is made up of four contextual layers and is used to further explain students' college choice behaviors. Findings are consistent with Bowen and Schulman (2001) in that students' college decisions are driven by their athletic pursuits. This study also addresses persistence for this group of students. Tinto's (1993) theory on departure is used as a platform from which to examine commitment and social integration. Traditionally, degree commitment has been measured as strong or which severely limits our understanding of persistence. Findings reveal degree commitment to be fluid and contingent upon perceived occupational options, health status, and year in college. The majority of current students express commitment to degree attainment as a priority. However, further investigation reveals degree commitment to exist without a specific time frame set by students. This adds a time dimension to our understanding of degree commitment. This study further extends Tinto's concept of commitment with evidence of two competing goal commitments: degree and occupational. Decisions to leave college early for the NFL are driven by participants' self-perception of their athletic abilities despite where they are on the team's talent roster. This decision is further shaped by their college community integration consisting of teammates, coaches, and the NFL. Former students who stopped out of college reveal unanticipated challenges with re-entry into college. However, in contemplating a return to complete their bachelor’s degree, stop outs articulate a renewed sense of energy and degree commitment given a change in their occupational trajectory and situated context.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectDegree Attainmenten_US
dc.subjectHigher Educationen_US
dc.subjectAthleticsen_US
dc.subjectCommitmenten_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHigher Educationen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorDeil-Amen, Regina J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBell, Lydia F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLee, Jennyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRios-Aguilar, Ceciliaen_US
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