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MOVE: Beyond the Bench


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ClassificationAthletics
Description

Motivate * Overcome * Visualize * Empower

MOVE Beyond The Bench started as a pilot program in the summer of 2013 and was officially launched in May of 2014. The program is designed to help enhance Wagner College athletes academic learning and civic engagement capacity through a summer time internship with the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement.

MOVE stands for motivate, overcome, visualize. and empower. Who do we motivate? Student athletes; what do we motivate them to do? Overcome. Overcome what you ask? Overcome the obstacles standing in the way of what that student athlete visualizes for him or herself. The acronym was developed by students to represent the core values of the program. Student athletes from the football and basketball team self select  to participate during session A & B and commit to 20 hours of internship work and three hours of a weekly reflective seminar.

Many students balance a class schedule and athletic schedule in addition to their MOVE internship. Additionally, the students work with the CACE office to develop a resume,  practice writing cover letters, e-mail etiquette, networking skills and more. Finally, with the support of Dr. Sanchez and Dr. Donovan student participants during the summer of 2014  have had a special focus on improving their writing abilities through journaling and reflective seminars.

The plan is to continue MOVE through the academic year and expand to other sports beyond football and basketball in the summer of 2015. The program was co-designed and is co-facilitated by the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement, Athletics Department, CACE office, and many active student leaders.

Why is a program like this important? Student athletes basically have a full time job while in college. While there are many advantages to being a student athlete there are still disadvantages that cannot be ignored. Due to the busy schedule that student athletes have on a daily basis, they don’t get the experience out of Wagner College that non-student athletes are able to receive. By experience, it is referred to as clubs, student government, time to attend career fairs, etc. This mostly applies to members of the football and basketball teams because there isn’t really an offseason for those sports being that they practice and have workouts all year round.  They are also at a disadvantage because they are stuck in the middle of being a student and an athlete. They have the pressure and expectations from their coaches as well as the pressure and expectations from their professors that they have to deal with. Both parties hold student athletes at a very high standard. Most people do not understand the pressure this puts on student athletes. It is because of this busy schedule and lack of time to attain certain skills that are causing student athletes to graduate with good GPA’s but not find jobs. This is seen more so a problem with black males, leaving them without a voice which is also another disadvantage.

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