LSU Awarded for Community Service and Degree Completion
BATON ROUGE — The National Consortium for Academics and Sports recently awarded LSU the Sports Outreach and Community Service Program, and Degree Completion Program Honor Roll Awards at its National Conference in Orlando, Fla.
The National Consortium of Academics and Sports is an ever-growing organization of colleges and universities, which provide opportunities for current and former student-athletes to continue their pursuit of higher education, while working within the community addressing social issues. The NCAS and its members have proven to be effective advocates of the balance between academics and athletics.
The Shaquille O’Neal CHAMPS/Life Skills program at LSU helped reach over 5,000 local youth in the Baton Rouge community during the 2002-03 year. The Tigers made visits to local schools, hospitals and retirement homes. In addition, the student-athletes were involved in the annual Halloween BOO-zar, the Thanksgiving food drive and the Christmas Toy Drive among other activities.
Nationally, the National Consortium for Academics and Sports touched almost 1 million children last year and has logged over 12.5 million hours in the community since it began 18 years ago. Fifty-four schools were named to the Sports Outreach and Community Service Honor Roll for compiling more than 1,000 hours of community service.
As part of the Degree Completion Program, current and former student-athletes are allowed to complete their education in exchange for community service. LSU ranked fourth of 45 programs on the honor roll with 35 degrees completed.
In the past 18 years, 23,740 students have returned to school to complete their degrees. In exchange for tuition, returning former student-athletes participate in the school’s community service and outreach program, where they meet with youth to talk about a variety of critical issues for a minimum of ten hours per week.
There are 221 institutions that make up the Consortium. It has successfully raised over $246 million in tuition for student-athletes. In addition to the Sports Outreach and Community Service Program and the Degree Completion Program, NCAS sponsors the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program, the Teamwork Leadership Institute, Project TEAMWORK and National STUDENT-Athlete Day, all to encourage and recognize achievements by student-athletes both in the classroom and in the community.