With attitude of all work and all play, McHenry Scots lead the way
The McHenry County College Scots don't stop striving for success when they step off the field. If anything, that's where the real effort begins.
McHenry's athletic department sets a goal of maintaining an overall minimum grade point average of 3.0, since Athletic Director Karen Wiley sees a lot of the same intangibles in both areas.
"Both require focus and attention, hard work and persistence, discipline and self-responsibility," Wiley said. "As athletic director and coaches, our jobs are not to simply keep student-athletes eligible to play, but to work with instructors and student-athletes to be successful in the classroom and ultimately graduate."
The Scots proved they could handle it, led by the women's tennis team, which notched a 3.48 GPA. In fact, the athletes in five of the eight sports McHenry offers reached GPAs above 3.0. Fifteen of the 122 student-athletes at the school achieved a perfect 4.0 average this spring, and 43 ended above 3.0.
Wiley equates the improvement to excellent time-management and planning skills.
"To be highly successful in both takes a great deal of time," Wiley said. "We have found, though, that most student-athletes have better classroom performance during the season, rather than out of the season. Our coaches play a vital role in daily mentoring, encouraging and reminding of our academic performance needs."
The Scots are building this mentality into the future as well. Twenty freshmen student-athletes ended with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, as did 22 sophomores.
Wiley's advice to struggling student athletes is to plan ahead, communicate with teachers and attend all classes. He also credited Jared Wacker, coordinator of Student Athlete Success, with helping the teams reach new highs.
"Jared works to monitor all student-athletes’ classroom daily performance using a learning management system called 'Dropout Detective,' which is linked with our instructors’ classroom records," Wiley said. "The program is used to identify any issues before they may become a problem. The instructors/coaches work closely together with Jared to remind them (the students) of the resources which are available to them, ranging from instructor office hours to SAGE Center tutoring to study tables."
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