Irwin Academic Services Center
In the fall of 1997, the Irwin Academic Services Center opened on the campus of the University of Illinois after being renovated by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Irwin Academic building, formerly the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity house, is conveniently located in the center of campus, offering the very best in academic services to Illinois student-athletes. In addition to the academic offices, it houses study areas, an expansive computer room, and meeting rooms that over 600 student-athletes use throughout the year.
The Irwin Academic Services Center was originally designed as the Sigma Pi fraternity house in 1920 by Joseph William Royer, a graduate of the University in 1895 with a degree in architectural engineering. The building with its intersecting gables, half-timber and stucco veneer, stone trim and tudor arch gallery on the first floor, is an excellent example both of Royer’s Tudor Revival projects and the Tutor Revival style in general.
In the fall of 2007, the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics completed the expansion of the Irwin Academic Services Center. With the great continued support from the Irwin Family Foundation, this project will assist student-athletes in many academic areas. The $4.6 million expansion of the Irwin Center added 11,400 square feet, allowing more opportunities for the student-athletes to achieve their academic goals. Student resource areas comprised of a presentation room, a new general study area, individual tutoring and study rooms, and a computer lab allow this all to happen. Student-athletes now have more access to computers, better environments to meet with tutors with less distraction and the opportunity to have more space to concentrate on their academic endeavors.
Through this facility it is easy to see that academics are a high priority to the administration and all coaches at the University of Illinois.
Features of the Irwin Academic Services Center:
- A lounge including tables, couches and chairs to provide a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.
- A break room with access to drinks and snacks, as well as more tables for quiet study, meetings with tutors, or group work.
- Two classrooms specifically designed for review sessions, meetings with tutors and quiet study.
- Career services offers periodic seminars and workshops on academic wellness issues such as time management, research paper writing, alcohol abuse and nutrition.
- Career services also provides workshops on topics such as major exploration, resume writing and career planning.
- Administrative and counselor offices.
- Academic counselors monitor academic progress, assist in degree program planning and serve as resources to provide campus information.
- Three computer labs, complete with three laser printers and a scanner
- The middle computer lab has room for groups working on projects. The bulletin boards advertise upcoming CHAMPS/Life Skills events
CHAMPS Life Skills
The goal of each sports program within the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Illinois is to strive toward success. The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics has taken a comprehensive approach to the success of the student-athlete. The Illini CHAMPS Life Skills program is designed to meet the total needs of the student-athlete.
Sponsored by the NCAA, the Illini CHAMPS Life Skills program is comprised of five programming commitment areas viewed as critical to personal growth and development. The commitment areas are: academic excellence, athletic excellence, personal development, service to campus and surrounding communities and career development.
This comprehensive balance of academic excellence, athletic achievement and personal well-being is stressed daily by the administrative staff and coaches. Inevitably, a student-athlete’s playing days will end, but with the assistance of the Illini CHAMPS Life Skills program, each Fighting Illini athlete will be fully prepared for career and personal challenges ahead.
Presentations and workshops in many of the above areas can be ordered from the Illini Life Skills program menu on an individual or team basis. Each program is tailored to the specific individual’s request.
Among the elements stressed by the academic services department to assure student-athlete success are counseling and tutorial services, a monitoring program and state-of-the-art computer labs.
Athletically, the University of Illinois has long supported a broad-based sports program. Its coaching staff and facilities are among the nation’s best. The University of Illinois’ support units include excellent staffs for recruiting, equipment, facilities maintenance, fundraising, publicity and promotions. Its sports medicine staff not only assists student-athletes in strength training and conditioning, but also in personal health maintenance.
As important as the University of Illinois’ commitment is to the student-athlete’s performance in the classroom and on the field, it also considers the individual’s spiritual and emotional needs, and his/her career objectives.
Fighting Illini student-athletes are afforded the opportunity to attend a variety of seminars during their collegiate experience, helping them enhance their future following athletics. Among the seminars offered are those in career placement, financial planning, time and stress management, sexual harassment, drug and alcohol education and player/agent relations.
The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics also sponsors a Student Athletic Advisory Board (SAAB), which is made up of representatives from all 19 Fighting Illini intercollegiate athletic teams.
Members of SAAB and their teammates perform various acts of community service such as visits to local hospitals, grade schools and other personal appearances.
The strong relationships built within the vast Illinois alumni networking system provide excellent opportunities for all student-athletes, whether for summer jobs, internships or in career placement after graduation. Once the individual’s career is established, the DIA asks for his/her participation in a follow-up program that allows student-athletes to benefit from their predecessors’ experiences.