Communicate Your Program's Value
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
The Division III, non-scholarship model of sports emphasizes the value of a holistic education, where sports are the co-curricular offering most likely to bolster enrollment and retention. While the broad value of an intercollegiate athletics program goes far beyond the development of life skills by student-athletes, these additional benefits may not be apparent to some college or university stakeholders.
Question #1: What is the broad value of athletics to your college or university? What is the overall impact of athletics on student experience and other institutional goals? The 3 Fold Group analyzes the contribution of an athletics program to achieving institutional goals, and compares performance to peer programs.
Example areas include:
Quality and output of facilities.
Academic performance of student-athletes, including division of majors, retention, graduation and national awards.
Regional and national exposure for the college.
Question #2: What data should you share in internal and external talking points?
After analyzing contribution to achieving institutional goals, the 3 Fold Group tailors communication points for internal and external audiences.
Enhanced institutional enrollment
Enhanced graduation and retention rates
Enhanced alumni engagement and giving
Enhanced community engagement
Increased brand visibility
Increased opportunities to achieve a liberal arts mission
Increased opportunities to earn post gradate scholarships and other awards
Question #3: Are your staffing levels appropriate? How should you describe the output of athletics staff beyond the X's and O's?
Internally, athletics staff members know that working small college athletics means wearing many hats. Staff structures vary based on resource levels and use of concepts like primary, secondary and even tertiary duties. At the end of the day, coaches are educators, recruiters, and triage experts, and administrative staffs are often lean. The 3 Fold Group analyzes staff size and expense, job duties and organizational structures relative to peer groups to identify where a program may be over or under resourced per its performance expectations, and where efficiencies may be achieved. Reports also articulate the output of athletics staff, including both athletic performance and contribution to other goals and objectives of the college or university.
Role in recruiting and retention
Role in student development and well-being
Role in fundraising and alumni engagement
Role in teaching
Role in other campus-wide duties