College sports are a significant attraction in the United States, drawing in millions of fans from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) has attemp
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In a cogent few paragraphs, identify a general problem in the discipline that supports the need to conduct the proposed research and describe a specific research problem that the research will address. Describe what is problematic, how, and for whom, supported by recent citations. Briefly explain how the results of the study could be used to address the specific research problem. (target: 2 to 3 paragraphs)
College sports are a significant attraction in the United States, drawing in millions of fans from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) has attempted to desegregate college sports by facilitating the participation of African-American athletes in college sports since the 1970s (Vogel et al., 2019). However, as more African-American men have begun playing collegiate sports, concerns have arisen over the balance between their academic and athletic careers. According to a recent study by (García et al., 2023), African-Americans make up twelve percent of college athletes, both male and female. However, the same study reported a sixteen percent decline in academic achievement among African-American male athletes, causing debates about sports and academics to shift in favor of these male athletes becoming professional athletes rather than achieving academic success (Harris et al., 2022).
The general problem is to understand what are the differences between African-Americans Females and African-Americans Males and what are some of the motivating factors that help female athletes become more successful in obtaining their college degree over their male counterparts. Are there social, emotional, or family pressures that are persuading these female athletes to become more successful and obtaining that four-year college degree. For decades African-American athletes male or female has been underrepresented at all levels in higher education this is compared to all other students from other ethnic backgrounds (Woods et al., 2019). This problem has persisted over time and impacts various aspects of African-American communities, including their access to resources and opportunities for personal and professional growth (Woods et al., 2019).
The specific problem is the what are the motivating factors that are helping African-American female athletes to become more successful in obtaining their bachelors degree over their male counterparts and what are some of the disparities in academic achievement and retention between male and female African-American collegiate athletes (Vogel et al., 2019). While female African-American collegiate athletes tend to complete their collegiate roadmap graduate from their respective colleges at higher rate over their male counterparts who are also participating and who also have the same pressures, social anxieties, and cultural differences. In one study it shows that male African-American collegiate athletes are more likely to drop out of college or university, leading to a wider academic gap between African-Americans and other ethnic groups (Vogel et al. 2019). This study will address what are some of the factors that are forcing or facilitating why African-American women or more successful in obtaining their bachelors degree over their male counterparts
Provide a specific and accurate synopsis of the overall purpose of the study. Align the Purpose of the Study to address the specific research problem. In one concise paragraph, succinctly describe the study’s focus, methodology, population, and geographical location. (Target: 1 paragraph)
The purpose of this qualitative comparative case study is to investigate the perceptions of African American male and female NCAA Division 1 athletes regarding the obstacles and enablers they face that help or hinder their ability to succeed in college in their academic work as they fulfill their commitment as student athletes. This study aims to address the specific problem of disparities in academic achievement and retention between male and female African-American collegiate athletes by exploring the unique challenges and opportunities that NCAA Division 1 athlete face in pursuing their academic and athletic goals. The study will recruit participants based on their status as NCAA Division I athletes who play sports in Utah and will focus on their experiences with academic and athletic success. The qualifications for participation in this study will include current NCAA Division I athletes who have played a sport at the collegiate level for at least two year. If the pool of candidates are very limited then we will branch out and talk with former female and male collegiate athletes who have graduated with in the past four years. In the study we may also look at why the graduation rate and the dropout rate of African-American athletes might be higher than their white counterparts and what are some of the reasoning behind these collegiate athletes not finishing their degree or why theyre not being successful academically at their colleges or universities. This study will take place in Utah and employ a qualitative comparative case study methodology to explore the perceptions of African American male and female NCAA Division 1 athletes this study also will focus on one particular group of African-American athletes that is general across-the-board between all colleges and universities. This study will look at African-American male and female basketball players because this sport is measured the same across all Division I NCAA schools.
Importance of the Study:
Briefly describe the importance of the proposed research, including how the study represents a unique approach to the problem, how the results may contribute to theory and practice in the field and the potential implications of the research findings. Identify any knowledge gaps to be addressed by the proposed research. (Target: 2 to 3 paragraphs).
The proposed study is important for several reasons. First, it seeks to address the what remedies and other determine needing factors that African-American females place on their academic success while participating in collegiate exports especially basketball at a Division I school. This study might bring out some of the disparities in with in each athletic program dealing with female and male African-American athletes who play basketball. This study also might bring out some of the tools and techniques that African-American females use to become more successful over their African-American male counterparts. Basketball per se should be equal across-the-board between male and female athletes no matter their cultural, economic standings, or social pressures and differences that they face in achieving their ultimate goal of graduating college and earning that bachelors degree. The disparities were going to look at are what are motivating and contributing to the success of all African-American athletes what tools, academic support, or other influences that are helping African-American females be more successful than their male counterparts in a Division I basketball program.
While previous research has documented the underrepresentation of African-Americans in higher education, little is known about the factors contributing to differences in academic outcomes between male and female African-American collegiate athletes. Sources to support this? This study’s focus on the unique challenges and opportunities faced by NCAA Division 1 athlete in pursuing their academic and athletic goals will shed light on the factors that enable or hinder their success of completing their bachelors degree. Understanding these factors will be useful in developing targeted interventions to improve educational outcomes among African-American collegiate athletes and reduce disparities in academic achievement between male and female athletes.
Furthermore, this study represents a unique approach to the problem by employing a qualitative comparative case study methodology to explore the perceptions of the African American male and female NCAA Division 1 athlete. This methodology will allow for a nuanced understanding of the complex interactions between individual, social, and institutional factors that shape the experiences of African-American collegiate athletes. By exploring these experiences in a specific context (the state of Utah), the study can identify unique challenges and opportunities that may not be captured in national studies (Simien et al. (2019). The reason why the state of Utah was chosen for this research study is one and of ease but to out of three Division I collegiate athletic programs that has men and womens basketball two of these programs are at public institutions and one is at a predominantly religious private university.
The findings from this study may contribute to theory and practice in sports psychology and higher education by identifying the obstacles and enablers that African American male and female NCAA Division 1 athlete face; the study can inform the development of targeted interventions to improve academic outcomes among African-American collegiate athletes. This study will focus on NCAA Division 1 athletes in Utah, often seen as role models for younger athletes, may have broader implications for promoting academic success among African-American youth.
There are several knowledge gaps that this study seeks to address. First, the study aims to identify the specific factors contributing to disparities in academic achievement and retention between male and female African-American collegiate athletes and what are some of the forces behind these particular athletes are not completing their university coursework to receive their bachelors degree and understand what are the different motivating factors that are helping female African-American athletes become more successful in obtaining that college degree over their male counterparts. While previous research has documented these disparities, little is known about the specific obstacles and enablers contributing to them (Price & Sen, 2020). Secondly, the study explores the unique challenges and opportunities that NCAA Division 1 athletes face in pursuing their academic and athletic goals. While previous research has examined the experiences of African-American collegiate athletes, few studies have focused specifically on NCAA Division 1 athletes, who represent the highest level of intercollegiate athletics (Sato et al. 2018). Finally, the study aims to explore these experiences in a specific context (the state of Utah), which may reveal unique challenges and opportunities not captured in national studies. Again the reasoning for behind choosing male and female African-American athletes that plays basketball in Utah is because of the convenience but also because of the convenience and the unique circumstances that the state of Utah is presently in. The population of African-Americans in general is less than five percent of the total state population but in athletics especially basketball the percentage of African-American and female athletes on the basketball team makes up seventy-five percent of their team. (find sources).
Proposed Research Methodology:
Briefly describe the research methodology for the proposed study, including the research method and research design, population and sample, instrumentation, data collection, and analysis approach. (target: 2 to 3 paragraphs)
Creswell and Clark (2007) defined a research design as a set of procedures for gathering, analyzing, interpreting data, and reporting information in a research study. Therefore, Creswell and Clark’s (2007) definition posits a research design as a framework or overall plan that links conceptual research problems to the empirical aspects of research. As such, the design sets the procedures for acquiring the data, outlines the methods used to collect and analyze the data, and defines the steps to answer the research questions outlined. Creswell (2021) classified research designs into three classes based on the data type they manipulate: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research designs. A quantitative research design is one in which the researcher uses data from empirical observations and measures to produce quantifiable or discrete measures. Qualitative research designs, on the other hand, use open-ended questionnaires, such as interviews and focus group discussions, to produce results that are not quantifiable. A mixed design is one in which both qualitative and quantitative data are used to produce measurable and immeasurable results.
In this research, a qualitative research design is preferred. The choice of qualitative design was determined by the nature of the data to be gathered and used in the study. This study will explore the perceptions of male and female African-American collegiate athletes regarding the factors that hinder or enable their academic performance while pursuing a college education. Consequently, the study will elicit qualitative data with no empirical measurements that will be generated and manipulated to generate non-measurable results. Qualitative designs handle qualitative data to generate qualitative results from which scientific conclusions can be derived based on the dominant themes. For this reason, Creswell (2021) described qualitative research as an organized approach to describe people based on their experiences and internal feelings, as will be the intent of this study.
A sample is a subset of a larger population being studied in research. It is chosen in a way that ensures it is representative of the population, allowing researchers to make inferences about the population as a whole based on the characteristics of the sample (Naderifar et al. 2017). The study population will comprise male and female NCAA Division 1 collegiate athlete from Utah. Sampling is the process of selecting a sample from a large population. Sampling methods can be classified into probability and non-probability (Naderifar et al. 2017). In probability sampling, all entities in a study population have equal chances of representation in the larger sample size. Probability sampling methods include random, systematic, stratified, and cluster. Non-probability sampling methods, on the other hand, do not give an equal chance of inclusion into a sample frame to all entities in a study population because the participants are qualified based on a predetermined criterion. Some of this category’s most common sampling approaches include quota, convenience, and purposive sampling. In this study, a snowball sampling method will be deemed suitable. Snowball sampling is a convenience sampling approach in which an existing subject helps to identify subsequent subjects through a referral process. The sampling chain then continues until the data are saturated. This method, as Dragan and Isaic-Maniu (2013) illustrated, is efficient and cost-effective, especially when studying a population that would otherwise be difficult to access. In this study, for instance, it may not be easy to access the details of male and female NCAA Division 1 African-American collegiate athletes. The snowball approach would be useful in recruiting the requisite number of participants through referrals from friends and acquaintances. And this kind of sampling brings potential problems if the recommended participants feel coerced or compelled to participate.
Various methods can be used to collect qualitative data, such as interviews, observations, and focus group discussions. In this study, interviews will be conducted with the participants to get their perceptions about the factors that enable or hinder their success in college education. Three types of interviews are applied in qualitative research, as Gill et al. (2008) described: structured, semi-structured, and unstructured. A structured interview is a questionnaire verbally administered to the participants. Unstructured interviews do not follow predefined patterns or conform to preconceived theories. These interviews are guided by the responses rather than a predetermined pattern. Semi-structured interviews contain structured questions, although the researcher has the leeway to deviate from the structured patterns, especially when seeking a deeper understanding of a concept or clarification on a response. This study will use semi-structured interviews to elicit responses from the respondents. It will involve preparing a set of questions in advance but also allow flexibility to ask follow-up questions to explore unexpected avenues of inquiry (Gill et al., 2008). Semi-structured interviews have been chosen as they balance the structure of structured interviews and the openness of unstructured interviews. While providing some degree of structure, they also allow for more flexibility and exploration of the respondent’s answers. This approach can result in a richer and more comprehensive data set, which can be categorized thematically.
Interviews will be sought with seven African American student-athletes of each gender = 14 or until data saturation. Seven African American student-athletes will be used to ensure diversity and representation within the study. By selecting participants from different regions or universities, the study may also be able to capture a range of perspectives and experiences. Additionally, 14 participants are a manageable number for the study to obtain data from the interviews and analyze it meaningfully. The interviews will be recorded and transcribed. These transcriptions will be subjected to thematic coding by finding common words and categories. These common categories will be translated into themes. Yin’s (2011) five analysis phases will be followed in compiling, disassembling, reassembling, interpreting, and concluding the data. The data will be further analyzed and described in terms of gender division or similarity of responses between the two groups. The generated data will address the research questions and provide a more coherent and integrated response to understanding the gender divisions in post-secondary African American student-athlete academic performance outcomes. Good discussion of your study design, David!
What are the perceptions of the African American male and female NCAA Division 1 athletes regarding the enablers they face that help their ability to succeed in college?
Im finding it a bit confusing trying to tell exactly what you want to study, David. This is the first time I have seen problem statements and I dont see a relationship between the problem statements and the purpose statement or, for that matter, between the introduction/overview of the problem statement section and the statements themselves.
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