Bratzke Center

The Chad Bratzke Student-Athlete Academic Success Center serves all student-athletes as a comprehensive academic resource center. The Bratzke Center and staff, located in Alumni Coliseum, is designed to aid EKU’s student-athletes in all facets of their academic pursuits.

Our mission is to promote an enriched academic environment while providing vital resources and services to assist our student-athletes in achieving their athletic and academic goals. Bratzke Center programming focuses on developing well-rounded individuals who will graduate with a marketable set of skills. With emphasis on integrity, the Bratzke Center fosters an environment that promotes independent learning while ensuring compliance to all polices, procedures and regulations as mandated by Eastern Kentucky University, the Ohio Valley Conference, and the NCAA.

Named after Chad Bratzke, the former EKU All-American and Indianapolis Colts’ defensive lineman whose generous donation helped make the center possible, the Bratzke Center supplements the needs of current EKU student-athletes. The 3,000-square foot Bratzke Center includes a tutoring center, a 34-station computer lab, an academic advising office suite, a classroom and quiet study area.

Student-Athletes at EKU utilize the center for study hall, tutoring, mentoring and advising. The professional staff is trained to work with student-athletes in advising, class scheduling, monitoring academic progress, and assisting student-athletes with academic success strategies.

The Bratzke Center employs CRLA level 1 certified tutors trained to assist student-athletes in many different subject areas.  Tutoring is a free service to EKU student-athletes and can be requested at any point throughout the semester. Tutors are trained to work with students and assist them with study skills, individual course instruction, and encourage academic success. In addition, EKU has several tutoring labs on campus that are available to all students.

In addition to the computer lab, EKU student-athletes also have access to  duplex printer in the lab, as well as laptop computers that are available to check out for team travel. These electronic resources assist EKU student-athletes especially while their team is in season. As a part of the departmental computer lab agreement, student-athletes are also able to access licensed software products such as SPSS, SAS, Adobe Photoshop and other useful programs.  

Many student-athletes participate in the Student-Athlete Accepting Responsibility (STAR) mentoring program, designed to help students find academic success early in their academic career.

These students meet once a week with a trained mentor  and  discuss  time  management  and   organizational skills, as well as establishing priorities through weekly STAR reports. This information is helpful to the student-athletes, but is also shared with the coaching staffs to keep them updated on the students progress.     

Student-athletes with disabilities or barriers to learning may be in the STAR program, but the Bratzke staff also assists with their registration with the Office of Disability Services (OSID) to ensure  students are provided with proper documentation.

Academic monitoring entails ensuring that student-athletes are maintaining progress towards degree as specified by the NCAA regulations. In addition, academic performance is monitored through communication with professors and early alert programs. Faculty report grades twice a semester to the Bratzke staff to enhance awareness and to help avoid potential problems. In addition, EKU faculty post midterm grades so that students at EKU can track their academic progress. The NCAA has specific academic requirements that each  student-athlete must attain in order to remain eligible. The Bratzke center staff continuously monitors the academic progress of each student-athlete according to the NCAA and  EKU standards.

Life Skills programming focuses on developing student-athletes in five commitment areas: academics, athletics, personal and professional development, and community outreach. The life skills program  enhances the quality of the student-athlete experience and prepares them for graduation. EKU student-athletes participate in more than 1,500 hours each year.

The Bratzke staff members serve as the primary academic advisors for all undeclared and General Studies majors. Additionally, the staff serves as the secondary advisors for all declared majors. Assistance with course selection, scheduling, and selecting a major is provided to all student-athletes.

The Bratzke Center is headed by Kate Johnson, Director of Athletic Academic Advising. She is assisted by Monika Banbel, Josh Shipp, Tessie Bowman and a team of outstanding tutors.