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Academics in constant communication with FSU athletes

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Students are used to learning online, so the shift to taking classes virtually wasn’t a huge adjustment.

But the premise for Florida State’s academics staff was built around being able to interact one-on-one with athletes on a daily basis around the Moore Athletics Center.

“We’re used to seeing the students every single day,” said Kacy King, Florida State’s associate AD for student-athlete academic services.

Employees in academics would also run in to athletes, ask how classes are going and have unscheduled conversations. For the last month, communication is constant but is done by phone, text, Zoom or FaceTime.

“We have to be so much more intentional,” King said.

That means the student, coach, learning specialist and advisor are involved in a conversation, often a group text, she said.

King sat down with the Osceola to explain how the process of interacting with student-athletes has changed and later describes the rising GPA for football as well as Leonard Hamilton’s emphasis on academics.

Below are some takeaways as well as time stamps from the video chat.

4:05 – King talked with the Osceola at 1 p.m. and she notes that the volume of meetings is quite high with already seven meetings before our video chat. But the planning and communication is integral to check in and ask “How are we doing?”

6:00 – The academics staff uses a variety of technology to keep in contact. Zoom is a good method for athletes to connect with academics.

9:45 – Is there a sprint to the finish line with the end of the spring semester and graduation coming up? King says it feels like it has been a long semester but it’s not as much of a crunch this time.

10:55 – Mike Norvell has “taken academics on.” The FSU football coach has been “extremely supportive,” King said. Norvell has encouraged players to finish the semester strong. “He really wants to see that GPA rise, rise, rise,” King said. “We’ve seen it rising in football. We know that it’s possible. We know that it’s coming.”

12:30 – FSU men’s basketball has a high graduation rate, essentially anyone who stays in school four years will earn a bachelor’s degree. Others who have left early are in a degree completion program. “I do not have men’s basketball programs,” King said. “They do not stress me out.” King says earning a degree is what coach Leonard Hamilton expects.

14:45 – The degree completion program has been a big point of emphasis at FSU. Receiver Rashad Greene is making a push to graduate this spring. Recent grads include receiver Kenny Shaw and Bobby Jackson, who was on coach Bobby Bowden’s team in the 1970s. “I’m so proud of when they come back and finish,” King said. “We definitely focus on that. We always tell them, ‘We’re here for you. School is here.’ “

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