LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Student-athletes at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus have demonstrated significant improvement in academic achievement since the establishment of the Student-Athletes Graduate and Excel (SAGE) program in 2015.
Per Penn State academic standards, students who do not maintain a grade-point average of at least 2.0 become ineligible to participate in athletic programs. According to university data, the average rate of ineligibility was roughly 25% over a five-year period, contributing to a sharp decline in student-athletes and campus support of athletic programs. SAGE, now in its ninth semester, is a collaborative effort to reverse this trend.
A dramatic impact
Participation in SAGE is mandated for student-athletes struggling with academic performance. The program, in part, requires two hours of supervised study time in the Student Success Center each week. Upon improving academic performance, student-athletes are released from the supervised-study requirement with a letter of congratulations.
The program was developed by the former Retention Task Force and is facilitated by Mary Budinsky, learning center coordinator, and Nicole Hill, assistant teaching professor of mathematics, in collaboration with Lou Zadecky, athletic director.