Students in field

Introducing The Lion’s Den Initiative for Student Athletes

March 27, 2020

On this week’s episode of Finlandia Fridays head women’s soccer coach and academic coordinator for athletics, Grace Sokolow caught up with host Anastazia Hartman to talk about a new comprehensive initiative called the Lion’s Den for student-athletes. The main mission of the Lion’s Den is to educate and support Finlandia University student-athletes beyond the classroom, field, court, and ice.

“We have identified a need in our student-athlete population for more comprehensive academic support,” said Sokolow. “So we have created a system with more structure. When we started the program development, we wanted to start with learning outcomes that mirrored our institutional learning outcomes. We settled on personal responsibility, integrity, development and growth. Every component of our Lion’s Den initiative is geared towards one of those learning outcomes. We had some structure in place, but we reframed it a little bit so our student-athletes understand their academic support as a mandatory component of their experience here.”

There are a few main components to the Lion’s Den, some being academic, NCAA and community compliance, Learning Labs and tutoring, as well as breakfast checks. When students step on campus they will learn their responsibilities as student-athletes and what it means to be a part of the FinnU community.

“We have changed some of the study requirements,” said Sokolow. “We used to require that our student-athletes gathered at a study table, now we have replaced that with an app called Clockify. Students tell me what they are studying and where they are studying, they clock in on the app just like a job. I get a report at the end of the week of how much time our students have spent outside of the classroom on their schoolwork.”

Along with “clocking in” for study time, students will also be working with Sokolow to schedule out their day accordingly to help show where there is space for schoolwork and practice. With this structure in place, Sokolow hopes that this will help students in the future when they graduate from FinnU and enter the job market.

To learn more about the Lion’s Den or about our NCAA programs head to fulions.com



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Thanks for checking out Finlandia Fridays, one of four podcasts in the Finlandia University Podcast Network. Finlandia Fridays is a weekly interview series talking about a wide range of Finlandia University topics. You can check out an archive at finlandia.edu/fridays. We also invite you to subscribe to the Finlandia Podcast Network wherever you get podcasts.

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