March 1, 2006
The University of Notre Dame athletic department's Student Development program recently was named to the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) honor roll for student-athletes and community outreach.
The NCAS is an ever-growing organization of colleges, universities and individuals. The mission of the NCAS is to create a better society by focusing on educational attainment and using the power and appeal of sport to positively affect social change. The NCAS evolved in response to the need to "keep the student in the student-athlete." The NCAS was established by Dr. Richard E. Lapchick and, since its inception in 1985, NCAS member institutions have proven to be effective advocates for balancing academics and athletics.
Member universities are recognized annually at the NCAS Conference for their commitment to degree completion and community involvement. Notre Dame was one of the recipients to receive the NCAS award for its student-athletes commitment to community involvement for the 2004-2005 academic year.
In 2004-2005, 84 percent of the Notre Dame student-athlete population participated in community service events coodinated by the atheltic department's office of student development - contributing a total of 1,867 volunteer hours. In terms of student-athlete participation rates, there was a six-percent increase from the previous year. The athletic department began tracking student-athlete volunteerism data in 1998-1999 and there has been a 48-percent increase in service participation among all student-athletes to date over the past seven years.
In all, the athletic department collaborated in 2004-05 with 26 charitable and civic agencies and organizations, many of which are building long-standing relationships between student-athletes and the community. Through the varied outreach programs of the Fighting Irish and the tickets donated, over 5,500 benefited.