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 goal is for student-athletes at EKU to have a great athletic and academic experience, and graduate with a set of marketable academic and professional skills.
Student-athletes at EKU continue to excel academically, with more than 50 percent of all student-athletes earning a 3.0 GPA. In the 2011-12 school year, 193 student-athletes were recognized at the Academic Awards breakfast for their accomplishments in the classroom. The event honored student-athletes who were designated as Colonel Scholars, members of the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll and members of the Dean's List. Additionally, Bratzke Awards, OVC Medals of Honor and the Athletic Director's Leadership Award were presented.
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 27-station computer lab, an academic advising office suite, a teaching classroom and quiet study area.
Student-athletes at EKU utilize the center for studying, requesting and meeting with tutors, checking their e-mail, advising and mentoring. 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 tutors trained to assist student-athletes in many different subjects. These tutors are 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 developing study skills, individual course instruction and customizing their academic programs. In addition, EKU has several tutoring labs on campus that are available to all students and advisors connect student-athletes to these resources as well.
In addition to the computer lab, EKU student-athletes also have access to a scanner and 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-Athletes 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 tracking upcoming assignments through weekly STAR reports. This information is helpful to the student-athletes, but is also shared with the coaching staff to keep them apprised of 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 (ODS) to ensure students are provided with proper documentation.
Academic monitoring entails ensuring that student-athletes are making progress towards a degree as specified by the NCAA and OVC, and successfully monitoring class participation through communication and early alert programs. Faculty report grades twice a semester to the Bratzke staff to help avoid potential problems and pitfalls. In addition, EKU faculty post midterm grades so that students at EKU can track their course progress.
The Bratzke Center also communicates regularly with student-athletes through the EKU Bratzke Center web site, as well as e-mail messaging about important information.
The Bratzke Center is headed by Dr. Gene Palka, Director of Athletic Academic Advising. He is assisted by Jennifer Skinner, Kate Johnson, Monika Banbel, Kyle Lumpkin, Stephon Burton and a team of outstanding tutors.
EKU annually finishes among the leaders in the Ohio Valley Conference’s Commissioner’s Cup standings and the Colonels have won the prestigious OVC Academic Achievement Banner eight times (1988-92, 1994-95, 1997-98, 1999-00, 2001-02).