Student-Athlete Support Services

Navigating Success: Dominate Your Course


Student-Athlete Support Services is a division of the Student Success Center. This division is equipped with Academic Coaches, a Learning Specialist, a Lifestyles Coach, Academic Support Personnel, Tutors, Supplemental Instructors, and various administrative staff whose overall mission is to help student-athletes become champions in the classroom and in their respective sport. The mission of the Student-Athlete Support Services program is to assist student-athletes in making informed decisions towards their major, to equip student athletes with valuable academic tools and resources, and to enable them to be productive leaders in the workplace.  The Student-Athlete Support Services program provides student-athletes an environment which is conducive to learning and promotes cognitive growth among student-athletes.


Tricia Killebrew, Director
HL Nowell Union 309
Jontil Coleman, Project Assistant
HL Nowell Union 308
B.A. Beckham, Lifestyles Coach
HL Nowell Union 302b
Kristen Land, Learning Specialist
HL Nowell Union 302b
Kaitlin Moore, Academic Coach
Chadwick Dickson Intercollegiate Building
Courtney Washington, Records & Compliance
Kent Wyatt Hall 152
Taylor Boggs, Academic Coach
Chadwick Dickson Intercollegiate Building

Support Services

Academic Coaching

Academic Coaching consists of student-athletes meeting regularly with their Academic Coach. The purpose of the meetings is to communicate progress in course work and athletic eligibility. In addition, student-athletes receive help with organizational skills, time management, test anxiety, course and major selection, and career choices. 

Academic Support Lab (H.L. Nowell Student Union 309)

The majority of courses offered at Delta State University require the use of computer technology. In addition, many of the University services such as pre-registration and financial aid award letters can be found online. The Academic Support Lab offers 35+ full-service computers, collaborative work stations, free tutoring and Supplemental Instruction, and full-time monitoring of lab usage. The full-time staff is available to aid students for needs such as studying, time management, and organizational skills.

Strategic Study Program

A vast number of student-athletes need individual academic assistance and attention. Our staff members are equipped and available to identify and assist student-athletes who need additional guidance through rigorous coursework. The Academic Coaches and Learning Specialist monitor, seek to identify, and assist those student-athletes who are at-risk. These student-athletes may or may not be learning disabled, and simply may have some type of academic or learning deficiency that needs to be addressed. 

Learning Specialist

The Learning Specialist assesses the needs of our student-athletes and provides a system of support of professionals, as well as mentors and tutors, who will assist our student-athletes in overcoming learning challenges and cultivating a lifelong learning strategy. The Learning Specialist fosters a comprehensive learning program for underprepared student-athletes as well as those with documented learning disabilities.

Lifestyles Coaching

Good health means both physical and mental health.  Physical problems, including sport injury, often have emotional consequences; in turn, these problems may affect mental and emotional health.  The Lifestyles Coach works with student-athletes to help monitor mental health and academic anxiety while helping student-athletes plan for a solid educational and career path.

Tutorial Program

Our tutorial program is designed with the philosophy that tutoring should be used as a way to stay one step ahead to achieve success. The tutorial program is available to all student-athletes. Individual tutoring, small-group tutoring, as well as large-group review sessions, are available when a large number of student-athletes are enrolled in a particular course. Please refer to the Tutoring tab for more information.

Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction is a program that offers peer assistance through review and tutoring to student-athletes enrolled in specific sections of courses. Individuals who serve as Supplemental Instructors are recommended by professors and have previously earned an A in the course which they are assigned, are in good academic standing, and are able to sit in on their assigned class to serve as a peer tutor. Review sessions are held weekly and are free to DSU student-athletes who are in need of academic assistance.



Test proctoring services are available for traditional, hybrid, and online courses taught at Delta State University. Student-athletes may be away for specific course sessions during competition season; in the event a test or exam will be missed, and the professor of that specific course may choose to offer the exam through proctoring services. Please refer to the Excused Absences tab for more information.

Priority Scheduling

All student-athletes are provided with priority scheduling which allows them the opportunity to register early for the classes they need early to ensure they stay on course for graduation. This allows student-athletes to schedule their classes around practice times.

Recruiting Visits

On a regular basis, the Student-Athlete Support Services staff meet with perspective recruits and parents of recruits to explain our services as well as to provide an accurate picture of the academic lives of student-athletes at Delta State University. These visits offer a first-hand opportunity for potential recruits to see how academic excellence is a top priority for student-athletes.

Transition Program

The DSU Transition Program includes a series of interactive workshops designed to give student-athletes an opportunity to gain experiences that will aid in acclimation to the University environment. The program focuses on exposing freshmen and at-risk student-athletes to campus resources, academic readiness skills, and a strong sense of community. Student-athletes are immersed in topics such as time management, communicating with faculty, academic mapping, and note taking skills.

Campus Referrals

Working with the various campus offices is a daily part of the work of the Student-Athlete Support Services program. If necessary, student-athletes are referred to various support services on campus including:  Student Business Services, the Registrar, Enrollment Services, Financial Aid, the Housing Department, Student Life, the  Counseling and Testing Center, Career Services, etc.

Graduate Assistants

The Graduate Assistant program is designed to build rich experiences within individuals who aspire to have a career in the field of athletic academics. GA’s are able to gain valuable insight by working directly with the Academic Coaches, Learning Specialist, Lifestyles Coach, and the Records and Compliance Specialist to ensure student-athlete success. The overall goal is to graduate from Delta State University with the skill set necessary to be successful in a full-time role in an athletic academic program at a university. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Supervising study hall and tutoring;
  • Interacting with student-athletes in an effort to assist Academic Coaches and the Learning Specialist in immediate academic guidance;
  • Managing files which pertain to student-athletes academic progress;
  • Assisting Student-Athlete Support Services personnel in creating learning plans to ensure the academic success of student-athletes;
  • Assisting Student-Athlete Support Services personnel in creating interactive workshops which focus on the academic and lifestyle needs of student-athletes.



Student-Athlete Support Services employs tutors to assist student-athletes as they work towards accomplishing academic goals. Tutors are available for scheduled sessions or drop-in sessions and can assist student-athletes in a wide variety of courses. Tutors assist the Lifestyles Coach, the Learning Specialist, and the Academic Coaches in the supervision of study hall and tutoring activities.

Travel and Excused Absences

While studying in the Academic Support Lab or the library, the lives of student-athletes are just not the same as other students on campus. Delta State University student-athletes are required to attend every class each semester. The only excused absences a student-athlete will have are for the purposes of athletic competition during their competition season. In extreme circumstances, travel which is related to injury or mandatory drug testing may require an excused absence; however, professors will be notified by the DSU Athletic Department in the event this may occur.

A student absent from class and missing a scheduled test and/or major presentation may make-up an assignment if evidence is presented to the instructor. Absences authorized by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs for official purposes (athletics, performing groups, student government groups, etc.) also allow a student to make up a test or class presentation.


The Student-Athlete Support Services program offers proctoring of exams to student athletes who may miss an exam due to competition. The testing center is located in room 302b in the Student Success Center. To take a scheduled test in the proctored location, the student athlete must follow the steps below:

At least one week before competition date:

At least one week before competition date, speak with the instructor regarding proctoring services. If the instructor chooses to allow the use of proctoring services offered by the Student Success Center, then the following steps will need to be taken by the student-athlete:

  • Allow a minimum of 48 hours advanced notice (excluding weekends starting at 4:00pm on Friday until 8:00am on Monday) to schedule exams. For a Monday exam, the prior Thursday would be the deadline. Our office hours for scheduling exams are Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm.
  • Send a request to the Student Success Center by completing the automated form below. Once the request is sent, the Student Success Center will contact the instructor to make arrangements regarding test instructions.
  • Bring Okra ID, pencils, pens, and any other extras the instructor allows (calculators, notes, etc.)  Items not specifically allowed by the instructor may not be brought into the testing room.
  • When scheduling an exam please be prepared to provide the following information:
    • Full Name
    • DSU 900#
    • Cell Number
    • Email Address
    • Course Proctoring is Needed
    • Instructor of Course
    • Instructor’s Email Address
    • Preferred Test Date and Time
Tricia Killebrew
Union 309; DSU Box 3232
Cleveland, MS 38733
P: 662.846.4899
F: 662.846.4580

sosbutton1S.O.S. (Stay Okra Strong) Early Alert system helps identify and assist at-risk students through organized outreach.