Student-Athlete Support Services Office (SASSO) at The Ohio State University is committed to a comprehensive program of academic, personal, and professional development for student-athletes. SASSO provides athletic academic counseling in conjunction with academic advising across the university to ensure seamless academic support. Additionally, SASSO collaborates with the Department of Athletics and other Ohio State University units and colleges to enhance academic, personal, and career development programming, and partner with the community to bring service and career opportunities to student-athletes.
Under the direction of the Office of Academic Affairs, SASSO has 21 experienced and committed staff members to serve student-athletes. The SASSO team is made up of a Director, Associate Director, Assistant Director, Athletic Academic Counselors, Learning Specialists, an Academic Resources Coordinator, Office Manager, Front Desk Coordinator, Office Assistant, Assistant Academic Counselors and Assistant Learning Specialists, a math specialist, and reading and writing specialists.
Together, we assist more than 900 student-athletes across 37 teams in areas of academic, personal, and professional support and development.
The SASSO Mission
The Student-Athlete Support Services Office will support The Ohio State University mission by providing quality programs and services that facilitate graduation and promote the overall development of student-athletes. As one of the nation's first universities to provide support services to student-athletes, we will continue to be innovative in meeting the educational, personal, and career development needs of student-athletes, while maintaining compliance with NCAA, Big Ten, and Ohio State University regulations. The SASSO staff is committed to empowering student-athletes to cultivate independence, educational and personal values, and leadership skills to reach their full potential while maintaining the highest level of integrity.
Goals of SASSO Services:
- Maintain the highest level of integrity, innovation of services, and dedication to excellence.
- Assist all student-athletes with the development of well-balanced life styles.
- Inform and introduce all student-athletes to the vast resources within the Department of Athletics and University communities.
- Encourage compliance with NCAA, Conference and University academic eligibility requirements, policies, and procedures.
- Promote respect for diversity and gender equity among all student-athletes.
- Provide opportunities and support to all student-athletes in their objective to integrate as much as possible into the academic community of Ohio State.
- Provide the opportunity for the student-athlete population to have a voice in policy making and program development through the Student-Athlete Advisory Board and other methods of inquiry.
- Enhance the quality of the student-athlete experience through participation in and service to the athletic, University, and central Ohio communities.
- Provide an environment which supports the goal of graduation for all student-athletes.
The Ohio State University, Ohio State Athletic Department, and SASSO are serious about the role we play in the lives of Ohio State student-athletes. Thus, SASSO continues to systematically designed programs and services to meet the needs of today's student-athletes. As a result, student-athletes will receive more than just a handshake and diploma at graduation. Backed by one of the largest alumni associations in the nation (Varsity 'O'), the academic, athletic, and community experiences and successes gained at The Ohio State University will be a student-athlete's ticket to career opportunities around the world.
Highlights of SASSO Services:
- An Athletic Academic Counselor is assigned to each team to provide individualized attention to student-athletes on each team;
- Athletic Academic Counselors provide assistance on issues of academic eligibility and procedures in compliance with NCAA, Big Ten, and Ohio State University academic standards and policies;
- Athletic Academic Counselors collaborate with college academic advisors to provide accurate, academic information and planning related to a student's college progress and degree program;
- Priority scheduling allows student-athletes to schedule classes that accomodate their practice and training commitments;
- Learning Specialists and mentors provide intensive academic skill-building and monitoring of student progress;
- The Study Table and Tutor Programs provide student-athletes with a quiet place for studying and computer lab use, as well as access to one-on-one tutoring for many academic subjects;
- The NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Program provides student-athletes opportunities to further enhance their experience and growth, personally and professionally, through classes, workshops, community service, and leadership opportunities;
- Career Network Night is an annual event providing student-athletes opportunities to meet with local and national professionals to interact and practice networking and interviewing skills;
- For over 40 years, Ohio State has honored scholar-athletes that have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better at the Ohio State Scholar-Athlete Recognition Dinner. A record 475 scholar-athletes were honored at the 2007-2008 dinner.
- The Degree Completion Program, ranked second in the country, is designed for student-athletes who have left Ohio State in good standing, but wish to return to complete their degree.