Grand Valley’s Movement Science Department program received an award from Grand Rapids Public Schools for providing leadership workshops and support to the school district’s athletic department.
Rick Albrecht, professor and coordinator of the Sport Leadership Program, accepted the Community Partnership Award from GRPS Athletic Director Kurt Johnson in early August.
For the past two years, faculty members within the Sport Leadership Program have given coaching education workshops and leadership conferences for the district’s athletic administrators and coaches. Albrecht said the partnership began after the school district received a DeVos family grant to increase student retention and graduation rates.
“One of their ideas was to enhance the athletic program to help keep students motivated,” he said.
Albrecht said the workshops and conferences focus on the National Standards for Sport Coaches, adopted by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. The standards create a student-centered athletic program, Albrecht said, with emphasis on safety, ethics and philosophy.
The partnership also benefits movement science students, who have been serving internships as middle school athletic directors and coaches within the district.
Albrecht said the next step for the partnership is to evaluate the athletic department reforms to gauge any impact on student retention.
“Our collaboration has been of great value to everyone involved,” he said.