News Writing Student
A new educational program to ensure male student athletes reach their academic potential and are prepared to be successful college student athletes was implemented at Edwardsville High School in early September. T.E.A.M. stands for Tigers Emerging As Men and is a student athlete mentoring program that targets college-bound student athletes. Students must be selected by teachers to participate in the program.
“The program was a joint idea of mine, Andre Collins and the high school administration. It came about because too many athletes had no idea how unprepared for college they were and they had not even taken the courses to qualify for NCAA requirements,” said Allen Duncan, T.E.A.M. sponsor and basketball coach. “The program will be funded by the administration and through fundraisers.”
The program is for freshman through seniors and every upperclassman is required to mentor an underclassman. The student athletes have a high standard of expectations that include:
- Attend all weekly meetings
- Maintain a rigorous academic schedule filled with NCAA required classes
- Maintain a good disciplinary standing
- Maintain a 3.0 grade point average throughout the school year
“This program will allow students to know where they stand when it’s time for college and be prepared to be a college student athlete academically. These young men will take the ACT Prep class and the ACT test at least two times at no cost to the students,” Duncan said.
The young men will also be held to a higher degree of discipline and rule following.
Collins is an educator known for a no-nonsense approach to self-discipline and respect for others.
“These young student athletes are in an intensely supervised disciplinary behavior program. They are to not only follow rules but be role model students,” Collins said.
“The program is cool, and it makes me want to do better,” said sophomore Jarrett McGirt.
Skylar Coleman, a mother of one of the athletes agrees with the program’s goals.
“The program can only help. If the kids’ grades and behavior are being monitored at home and school, then there is little room for failure.”