Who We Are















Academic Monitoring
SSA regularly monitors the academic progress of all student-athletes. Several methods for assessing academic progress are used, including progress reports completed by faculty and self-reporting done by student-athletes in regular academic meetings with SSA staff. Progress reports are shared with student-athletes and coaches. In the event that a problem is discovered, SSA works with the individual student-athlete to develop strategies to alleviate the problem. As situations may warrant, SSA staff consult with faculty and staff from various academic and administrative units to enhance the student-athlete’s academic experience.

When a student-athlete needs additional help outside of the classroom, SSA will help the individual obtain a tutor at no cost to the student. Student-athletes requesting a tutor will receive suggestions about how best to use the time spent with the tutor. The SSA program primarily utilizes the tutors through the University’s TutorFind service and occasionally utilizes their own pool of tutors.

Academic Assistance
Students may receive a number of specialized assessment, support, and remedial services in areas of academic achievement, study skills, and test-taking skills. This aid will come through individual meetings with SSA staff or through referrals to otheracademic assistance units.

Academic Planning
SSA provides student-athletes with information about appropriate college advisement centers. Student-athletes are strongly encouraged to meet with SSA staff to discuss their academic plans prior to meeting with their advisors. To ensure that student-athletes have course schedules that provide them with the best opportunities for success as student and athletes, the SSA staff also confers with academic advisors. In addition, due to eligibility requirements, student-athletes are instructed not to change their schedules without permission from the SSA staff once the academic semester has begun.

Study Hall
SSA conducts a supervised study hall, in which student-athletes complete classroom assignments, prepare for exams, and meet with tutors as necessary. Student-athletes can also use this time to consult with SSA staff about concerns related to academic progress.



Like other students, student-athletes have a variety of personal, social, and academic concerns. The staff of SSA is available to discuss these concerns with student-athletes, which will occasionally require more than consultation. If – after consulting with a student-athlete – a staff member determines this to be the case, the student-athlete may be referred to the Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD). The CCSD provides individual and group counseling for educational, career, and personal concerns. The student’s first contact will typically be an intake interview during which the counselor and student jointly make decisions about the type of help needed. The CCSD also houses a career library containing information about majors, career options, and graduate schools.

In conjunction with the Department of Health & Exercise Sciences, SSA staff members teach sections of a two-credit freshman seminar (HESC 135) during the fall semester. This course aids students in their transition to college life. Topics focus on academic, career, and personal development. Some specific topics include training for academic success, career development, nutrition, drug & alcohol education, and adjusting to campus life. Freshman student-athletes are strongly advised to register for this course.

Throughout the academic year, a number of workshops focusing on the personal, academic, and career development of the student-athlete are offered. This starts with an orientation meeting at the beginning of the year for all new student-athletes. This meeting introduces the student-athlete to information about the academic, administrative, and social community at the University. Additional workshops are offered throughout the year, typically in the evening to accommodate the schedules of the student-athletes. Traditional topics addressed include "how to find a major", "transitioning out of athletics", and "resume-building", among others.

Community Service
SSA offer opportunites for personal development of its student-athletes by coordinating a community service program Service activities are usually determined by representative members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) or through coordination between SSA staff and coaches/student-athletes. Organizations served in the past have included Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, Make A Difference Day, Christmas in April, and local schools throughout the community.

HENS Peer Mentoring Program
The H.E.N.S. (Helping Each Newcomer Succeed) Peer Mentoring Program is designed to aid first-year student-athletes with their transition into the University of Delaware. Selected upperclassmen serve as mentors to first-year student-athletes in both individual and group settings. First-year student-athletes benefit from the experience of the upperclassmen in handling many of the common challenges new student-athletes face. The mentors benefit from an important leadership opportunity outside the athletic realm.

Student-Athlete Advisory Council
The Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) is a representative body of student-athletes jointly supervised by SSA and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The purpose of SAAC is: (1) to act as a liasion between student-athletes and the Athletics/SSA staff, and (2) to provide a forum for student-athletes to voice concerns and opinions regarding their athletic and academic experiences. The SAAC is comprised of at least one member of each intercollegiate team selected by collaboration between coaches, previous SAAC representatives, and the Athletics/SSA staff.

SSA annually publishes a handbook and information guide for student-athletes. The handbook covers basic information about University requirements, services, and athletic eligibility. The handbook is distributed to all student-athletes and coaches at the beginning of the fall semester.

CHAMPS/Life Skills Program
The University of Delaware was selected as one of the original 46 institutions to participate in the NCAA’s CHAMPS/Life Skills program, which began in 1994. Since that time, approximately 50 schools have been added each year. The NCAA’s CHAMPS/Life Skills program is designed to support member institutions in their commitment to the total development of the student-athlete. This development is broken down into 5 areas of commitment:

  1. commitment to academic excellence,
  2. commitment to athletic excellence,
  3. commitment to career development,
  4. commitment to personal development, and
  5. commitment to service.
In general, this program fits in with the mission of SSA. In addition, SSA and Intercollegiate Athletics have instituted a CHAMPS/Life Skills program for its student-athletes at the University. The mission of this program is: (1) to provide drug & alcohol education for all student-athletes as part of a developmental process with a focus on overall wellness and personal growth and (2) to promote an experiential learning process for all student-athletes that fosters a commitment to community service, to team-building, to leadership experiences, and to mentoring. This is accomplished through a developmental process where student-athletes have to meet different requirements for each of their years as a student-athlete. For more information, see the link for CHAMPS/Life Skills.


The SSA staff is highly trained and experienced in general counseling issues as well as counseling issues specific to student athletes. The staff is comprised of professionals, graduate students and interns in both counseling psychology and athletic counseling.



James Coleman, M.A.
Assistant Director

(302) 831-0757

Primary liaison to football, women's basketball, men's soccer, and men's cross country and track.




Rachel Fineberg , M.S.
Assistant Director

(302) 831-4294

Primary liaison to baseball, rowing, softball, and women's cross country and track



Jessica Spangler, M.Ed.
Academic Coordinator

(302) 831-0672

Primary liaison to men's soccer, and men’s and women’s golf.


Nigel Brown, M.S.
Academic Counselor

(302) 831-2550


Gilah Rosenberg, M.Ed
Academic Counselor
(302) 831-7197




Monday: 8 am to 5 pm
Tuesday: 8 am to 7 pm
Wednesday: 8 am to 6:30 pm
Thursday: 8 am to 5 pm
Friday: 8 am to 5 pm

108-G Delaware Field House
University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware 19716
(302) 831-2748

















  © 2009, University of Delaware