Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version

Winter 12-5-2013

Document Type



A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor James V. Griesen. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Andrea Rose McClymont


Opportunities for involvement on a college campus can have many positive effects on students. Additionally, opportunities for involvement can have positive implications for student recruitment and retention at a university. There are many ways for students to become involved during college through their campus recreation centers. Through these centers students can have the opportunity to participate in sport clubs. Although multiple studies have been conducted on the importance of student involvement, few studies focus specifically on student involvement in sport clubs. This study addressed six research questions: a) do freshmen student sport club participants have higher 1st term GPAs than non-participants; b) do freshmen student sport club participants have higher 2ndterm GPAs than non-participants; c) do freshmen student sport club participants complete more credit hours during their first term than non-participants; d) do freshmen student sport club participants complete more credit hour during their second term than non-participants; e) what role do sport clubs play in the recruitment of students to the university; and f) what role do sport clubs play in the retention of students at the university. The study sampled first-time, full-time freshmen students who were participants in sport clubs sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Campus Recreation Center in the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years. Quantitative data were collected for freshmen student sport club participants and a matched sample of non-participants. The researcher looked at the number of completed credit hours as well as GPA for the first and second terms for the two different groups of students. Other quantitative data were collected through an online survey instrument and qualitative data were collected through telephone interviews. The results of this study showed that, for a majority of students, participation in a sport club was not the main determinant for matriculation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. However, results indicated that sport club participation appears to have a positive influence on retention for freshmen students during their first year.

Advisor: James V. Griesen