Supporting Student Athletes
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I did not know what to expect when I started working at the Football Academics Center (hereafter referred to as the “Center”) at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) as a part-time tutor in 2009 even though I was not new to the academic center world, having worked at the Undergraduate Writing Center (UWC)1 for six years beforehand. As an undergraduate and graduate student at UT Austin, I had heard stereotypes surrounding student-athletes (e.g., student-athletes are not interested in academics, student-athletes do not work hard at academics) and rumors of the advantages they receive, including that tutors or mentors are “fix-it” people who make academic miracles happen. What I learned upon starting work at the Center is that the reality is quite different and that such stereotypes, as is the case with all stereotypes, about student-athletes do not patently apply. This piece aims to situate the Football Academics Center within the writing center community by describing the Center, the unique population we serve, and the strategies we use to support student-athlete writing.