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Snow College Implements Changes to Support Student-Athletes

Additional supports are now in place to provide enhanced academic support

December 20, 2022 – Ephraim, UT – Recognizing that student-athletes have very specific academic needs, Snow College recently implemented changes to help them reach their academic potential. Officials met to identify the immediate needs to not only change the academic culture and expectations, but to also support the student-athletes in meeting the new standards.

The school recognized the importance of having one central person to work with all the student-athletes to streamline their advising needs. As such, the first component was to assign an academic advisor, Kelly Schoppe, to oversee all the student-athletes. Schoppe’s office was moved to the Bergeson Athletic Center to allow close proximity and better access for the athletes, coaches, and other athletic staff. Schoppe was tasked with tracking students’ progress toward graduation, eligibility status, grades, and transfer institutions.

Through these efforts, the school was able to quickly identify that early academic intervention was a critical need. Snow hired an Early Intervention Specialist, who now works with historically underserved student-athletes, meeting with them weekly to set goals, track progress, and report to coaches. She also helps set up tutors for help sessions and required study labs.

Another area of concern was the number of classes student-athletes needed to be eligible to play. Like many Snow College students, a large number of student-athletes are in need of math and English preparatory classes before they are ready to jump into 1010-level courses. Unfortunately, these preparatory classes don’t count toward eligibility requirements, which meant student athletes had to take extra classes to meet the minimum credit load, creating a large burden on their already packed schedules, particularly during their athletic season when they are often traveling.

To address this issue, student-athletes will be required to take placement exams for their math and English classes. If the student doesn’t score high enough to place in 1010 level course, they will attend specialized study sessions to prepare them to retake the exam, enabling them to skip the non-credit bearing preparatory class and go straight to the 1010 level with the knowledge they need to successfully pass the course.

Athletic Director Rob Nielson is pleased at the progress they’ve already seen in student-athletes. He said, “When we first presented this to our student-athletes, they were skeptical, but they have really risen to the occasion. The coaches have been working closely with our academic advisor, and we are already seeing results. For example, the football team has gone from an average GPA of 2.4 to 2.97 in the past year. I’m immensely proud of these students and of how hard they have worked both in their sport and in the classroom.”

For more information about how Snow College is helping student-athletes succeed in and out of the classroom, please contact Kelly Schoppe at ude.wons@eppohcs.yllek.

About Snow College

Snow College, founded in 1888 by Utah pioneers, is a two-year college with campuses located in Ephraim and Richfield, Utah. The college also has a learning center in Nephi, Utah, and offers a wide-range of online courses. Serving more than 5,000 students, the college has been nationally recognized for its student success rates, affordable cost-for-value, involvement opportunities, and exceptional teaching. Learn more about all Snow College has to offer online at