UW Health Sports Medicine 

Beyond The Game

BTG Logo

BTG is an initiative to strengthen the post-graduation trajectories for student-athletes. The University's "Beyond the Game Initiative" confronts the challenge of student-athletes who face the end of their eligibility to play without identifying viable careers beside professional sports. The program is open to all student-athletes. The initiative results from collaboration between the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, WCERís Wisconsinís Equity and Inclusion Laboratory and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement.

Goals The objectives of the Beyond the Game program are to increase African American graduation rates and postgraduate outcomes, while increasing retention rates and assisting with student-athlete development. As such, the goals of the BTG are:

Graduate Student-Athletes: Maintain a BTG student-athlete graduation rate that is greater than the rate for all UW-Madison African American students.

Retain Student Athletes: Maintain a BTG student-athlete retention rate that is greater than the rate for all UW-Madison African American students.

Assist in Student-Athlete Development: Engage BTG student-athletes in the current life skills and diversity and inclusion programing and enhance their experience through BTG programming.

Components The Beyond the Game program is designed to foster student-athlete development, but includes additional components aimed at increasing student-athlete engagement on campus. These intentional components include a Passport to Success, a career role model, and the opportunity to simultaneously fulfill a leadership certificate upon completion of the BTG program. With the increased connection and engagement on campus, the idea is for students to have an improved holistic experience. Ultimately, the hope is that with increased campus engagement and student identity development, the program will achieve its goals.

Student-athletes who participate in the BTG program will complete the student-athlete development curriculum, as all student-athletes do, including various personal development and career development programming with one mandatory component per year. Beyond the Game students will also complete three one-credit courses throughout their collegiate career in addition to the student-athlete development curriculum requirements. See the specific BTG components in the chart below.

Curriculum CoursesFocus on student identity, leadership and professional development theories. Courses will include theoretical and practical components
Passport to SuccessFacilitate involvement in activities and services that support matriculation and graduation, leadership development, volunteer activities, campus-wide connections and career development
Career Role ModelConnect the student-athlete to an individual who currently thrives in a stated career and commits to provide career exposure and guidance for a selected participant
Dinner SeriesSemi-formal dinner with a keynote speaker from Madison, the surrounding area or across the United States. The speakers will discuss selected topics that are relevant to the student-athlete's growth
Real Talk SeriesAn open forum guided by selected topics from the participants
Leadership CertificateThrough the completion of the BTG program, students will simultaneously complete a UW-Madison leadership certificate.
Research & EvaluationResearch and evaluation will be used to inform decision making and program modification

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