El Camino College Union

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The number of student athletes had increased recently

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The number of student athletes had increased recently

EC cross country runner John Harvey talks about his experience as a student athlete. Photo credit: David Rondthaler

EC cross country runner John Harvey talks about his experience as a student athlete. Photo credit: David Rondthaler

EC cross country runner John Harvey talks about his experience as a student athlete. Photo credit: David Rondthaler

EC cross country runner John Harvey talks about his experience as a student athlete. Photo credit: David Rondthaler

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Jordan Hixon, 21, English major, wakes up to go to class at 8 a.m. After her morning classes, she has basketball practice at 1 p.m.

After practice gets out around 5 p.m., she then has to go to work at 6 p.m.

Following work, she goes home do homework, she repeats the process the next day.

Some may think student-athletes have crazy daily routines but that is not the case.

“My routine is no different than normal students,” John Harvey said.

Harvey, 19, physiological science major, is a part of the cross country team and track and field.

Harvey has class in the morning, then has practiced at 1 p.m., which is just like a normal class, Colin Preston, director of athletics and kinesiology, said that every team is associated with a class.

Sports are like classes, students have to register online in order to compete.

After getting out of practice at 4 p.m., Harvey takes night classes so he has enough units for the minimum requirement for student-athletes.

Minimum requirements for student-athletes are 12 units during their sports season and 24 units between seasons Chris Jeffries, athletic counselor, said.

Harvey is at school for, “long hours, morning till night.” He usually leaves school around 10 p.m.

Not only do these students participate in sports, but they also have jobs.

Harvey works at In-n-Out as a cashier, and Hixon works at parks and recreation center as a rec leader specialist.

Some students are lucky enough to have a job that is weekend-based like Brian Burrell, captain of the men’s soccer team.

Burrell said that he is happy to work at Sky Zone so he can go to on the weekends, but it is still tiring to work.

Student-athletes like Harvey, Burrell, and Hixon are important to have because they are important to the academic programs and helps raise graduation rates, Preston said.

From 2015-2016 to 2016-2017, male student-athletes have increased by 22 percent (346 to 422) and female student-athletes have increased by 9 percent (181 to 198), according to the El Camino College Annual Fact Book.

Preston said there could be many different reasons why the number of student-athletes has increased. The number of student-athletes in the area that are going to four-year colleges could affect the number of student-athletes, he said.

Preston said the most important thing is how well El Camino recruits high school athletes in the area at Redondo Union, El Segundo, and Torrance High Schools.

There were 25,732 California community college student-athletes in 2016-2017 provided by Carlyle Carter, President of California Community College Athletic Association.

In 2016-2017 there had 33,226 students at El Camino and had a total of 620 student-athletes, according to the El Camino Annual Fact Book, which is around 2% of the student population.

Long Beach City College has 431 student-athletes and Los Angeles Harbor College has 218 student-athletes according to Equity in Athletics Data Analysis.

Women’s soccer coach, John Britton said that student-athletes come to El Camino because of the consistency, strength in academics and athletics, and strong reputation to transfer to four-year universities.

Students come to El Camino for all different types of reasons, Harvey came to El Camino because he wanted to keep running at the collegiate level.

“One of the reasons why I came to El Camino was to continue competing in cross country,” Harvey said.

Even with going to El Camino and being in the cross country program, “I don’t think I’ll continue being a student-athlete but I will continue being active and in shape,” Harvey said.

Other athletes like Ashley Hanna, captain of the women’s soccer team, will be transferring and going to Cal State Long Beach.

Coaches won’t treat athletes any different if you want to transfer or not.

Cross country and track and field coach, Dean Lofgren said, “I treat everyone with respect, I treat them all basically the same no matter their ability level.”

Also, women’s basketball team coach, Steve Shaw has a similar mindset, he treats athletes all the same but has the same expectations and goals for everyone on the team.

“I treat all athletes the same, and I treat them fairly. If they want to stop playing that’s fine,” he said.

Somethings learned from being a student-athlete are time management skills, how to work with people, and leadership skills Burrell said.

Not only that, women’s basketball player, Makena Peneueta, said she learned how to think fast and have discipline on and off the court.

With those skills, some coaches don’t have to worry about athletes doing well in the classroom.

“Most of our student-athletes are overachievers, to begin with,” Lofgren said.

Shaw tries to recruit athletes that will take care of their academics and have a team of players that influence others to do well in their classes.

“I expect them to take off (their academics). I try to recruit players that do that and have them influence others to do the same,” Shaw said.

Student-athletes have a lot of resources to help them in the classroom.

They have study hall they can go to and specialized tutoring offered to them.

There is also assistance from counselors.

Student-athletes have their own counselors they can go to and who help make education plans with them no appointment needed with drop-ins hours.

Counselors are available for student-athletes to come by 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday and Wednesdays and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-7 p.m, Jeffries said.

Counselors can also help athletes get priority registration and plan out courses before registering for classes.

Not only do students have to do well academically, but they also have to be committed to what they are doing and love their sport.

“…I just want to say being a student-athlete can be time-consuming and hard but anyone can do it. You have to like what you do and if you love your sport, you’ll find time to do it. I made the right decision to do athletics at El Camino,” Harvey said.

Men athletes break down over the last five years

Men athletes break down over the last five years according to the El Camino Annual Fact Book.
illustration by David Rondthaler.

Women athletes break down over the last 5 years

Women athletes break down over the last 5 years according to the El Camino Annual Fact Book.
illustration by David Rondthaler.

Percent break down of men athletes of 2016-2017

Percent break down of men athletes of 2016-2017.

Percent break down for women athletes of 2016-2017

Percent break down for women athletes of 2016-2017.

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The number of student athletes had increased recently