College Student Development within the Context of Formalized Sport in American Higher Education


  • Daniel Springer Texas A&M University
  • Marlene A Dixon Texas A&M University



Sport for Development Theory,, Student Development Theory, Sport Development Theory, Holistic Development, , Intercollegiate Athletics, Club Sport


Those providing and managing sport in primary, secondary and post-secondary educational settings must be cognizant of the need for sport programs to enhance, rather than detract from, the educational environment. American post-secondary education provides an important context for inquiry in sport for two primary reasons. First, college enrollment marks a significant period of transition for individuals who are at a developmentally impressionable stage of their lives. Second, roughly 80% of all college students participate in some form of physical activity during their time on a college or university campus, with roughly half of them participating in formal sport. Two bodies of literature provide guidance for sport managers in US higher education: 1) sport development theory and 2) student development theory. This paper aims to provide a road map to facilitate the conversation between these two bodies of theory to unpack the potential contribution of sport to the individual development of sport participants at American colleges and universities.



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How to Cite

Springer, D., & Dixon, M. A. (2021). College Student Development within the Context of Formalized Sport in American Higher Education. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 14(1).