Date of Award



© 2019 Corey Christine Berg

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Kim Roberts-Morandi

Third Advisor

Gerard Bryant


The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III mantra of “offering participation in a competitive athletic environment that pushes student-athletes to excel on the field and build upon their potential by tackling new challenges across campus” requires administrators to support and promote academic achievement, athletic success, and personal well-being. For Division III student-athletes who are also urban, commuter students, the path to engagement in those areas is not clearly defined. The intent of this two-phase, mixed methods study was to evaluate the priorities of urban, commuting student-athletes at a NCAA Division III institution in New York City.

The following research questions supported the study:

1. How do urban commuter student-athletes characterize intercollegiate athletics as part of their campus experience?

2. How does personal and career programming offered by the athletic department influence urban commuter student-athlete behavior and choices?

Fifty student-athletes participated in the quantitative portion of the study. An additional eleven student-athletes participated in the survey portion of the study. The REDCap platform was used to gather survey data, which was analyzed for themes on student-athlete engagement at the institution. Interview data was gathered using the Skype platform and the interview transcripts were coded to determine themes and trends among the student-athletes.

Results from the study indicate that participation in intercollegiate athletics is not the top motivator for urban, commuter student-athletes. Ability to participate in athletics ranks third, behind ability to major in a chosen subject and cost of attendance. Student-athletes did not view athletics programming as a resource that could not be found in other departments on campus. Additional findings suggested that commuter student-athletes respond more strongly when programming is associated with teammates or coaching staff, rather than the athletics department generally. The results of this study recommend that future programming address commuter student-athlete academic challenges, lessen the personal


Ed.D. Dissertation