March 20, 2013
Two of the most important words that contribute to the overall success of an athletic program include “Student” and “Athlete,” combined as “Student Athlete.” Many changes have taken place in pursuit of excellence to support these two critical areas; the Student and the Athlete at FM. Through many support services and facility upgrades, FM is making the grade.
It’s not unusual for most student athletes to carry a huge workload along with their academic and athletic schedules. Because of this, the “student” component of student athlete has been enhanced through many different avenues of support including structure and assistance programs. These programs play a vital role in the overall success of the academic piece of being an athlete.
One of the support services includes the employment of a full-time academic advisor, known as the Coordinator for Student Athlete Success, whose charge is to monitor the progress of all athletes. Requiring study hours, tracking grades through faculty progress sheets, and maintaining a monitoring system to keep record of classroom attendance is all part of the job, lending to the success of our student athletes.
The achievements of our student athletes can be seen each fall during the “Student Athlete 3.0 Luncheon;” a celebration of student athletes achieving a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or better during the semester. Several of these student athletes are also named to the Dean’s List, achieving a 3.2 GPA or higher. This proves that FM’s student athletes have placed a high priority on their academics. They are showing themselves to be leaders, and their achievements have not gone unnoticed.
Also of service to our student athletes is a program known as TRiO, a grant funded program providing extra tutoring services not only for student athletes, but for any student at FM meeting a certain criteria who wishes to utilize the program’s services. TRiO, along with student learning centers, are literally helping our student athletes in making the grade.
The “athlete” part of the student athlete has seen many facility upgrades that have launched the athletic department into a great space for athletic success. The upgrades to the outdoor facilities through new scoreboards, bleachers, and fencing have brought credibility to those sports and will further support athletic recruitment. This past September, FM opened “Raiders Hall,” the College’s new student housing. Raiders Hall provides an additional 144 beds, bringing the total number of residential beds to our campus to 288. Around the same time, FM opened its newly renovated cafeteria, now known as “Union Stations.” The cafeteria has been remodeled into a dining facility which houses five serving stations, each with a different venue of food, something for everyone. “Raiders Cove” is the latest upgrade to FM’s campus. The remodeled vacant pool area now houses an Internet café, a stage for various entertainment performances, gaming tables, large screen TVs, and a Mondo Sub Shop. All of these facility upgrades help to give our athletes great options to create an enjoyable collegiate experience during their time at FM.
The athletic department has a lot to be thankful for with the direction the college has taken. Athletes will benefit from all of the changes. Fresh like a new coat of paint, FM athletics is taking the next step. FM is definitely making the grade… Raider Nation is on the move!
Kevin Jones is Athletic Director at FM.