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Student-Athlete Development

What is Student-Athlete Development? Formerly known as CHAMPS/Life Skills, Student-Athlete Development focuses on promoting the well-being and total development of student-athletes. Through the Student-Athlete Development/ Life Skills program, EKU strives to develop our student-athletes holistically, so they are prepared on and off the field of play. We not only want to prepare them to be successful while they are attending EKU, but also for life beyond graduation. NCAA Student-Athlete Development mission was created to support the student-athlete development initiatives of NCAA member institutions and to enhance the quality of the student-athlete experience within the context of higher education. 

NCAA Life Skills programming focuses on these 5 areas of development:

1.      Commitment to Academic Excellence-To support the academic progress of the student-athlete toward intellectual development and graduation.

2.    Commitment to Athletic Excellence- To build philosophical foundations for the development of athletic programs that are broad-based, equitable and dedicated to the well-being of the student-athlete.

3.    Commitment to Career Development- To encourage the student-athlete to develop and pursue career and life goals.

4.    Commitment to Personal Development- To support the development of a well-balanced lifestyle for student-athletes, encouraging emotional well-being, personal growth and decision-making skills.

5.    Commitment to Service- To engage the student-athlete in service to his/her campus and surrounding communities.

History of the Student-Athlete Development/ Life Skills Program

In 1991, the NCAA Foundation initiated efforts to create a total development program for student-athletes. Through the collaborative efforts of the NCAA Foundation and the Division 1A Athletics Directors’ Association, the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program was created. In 1994, the NCAA introduced the CHAMPS/Life Skills program to all NCAA members. In 2004, Eastern Kentucky University launched its CHAMPS/Life Skills program which is now called Student-Athlete Development since the NCAA is no longer affiliated with CHAMPS.

For more information on the Student-Athlete Development/ Life Skills Program at Eastern Kentucky University, contact Harley Martin at (859) 622-8931 or

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