Cubs to Bears Athletic Success Program 

Mission
Cubs to Bears is part of NYIT Athletics Department’s BEAR (Bear Education Athletic & Retention) program. It is designed to enhance the college experience of student-athletes through guidance, support, information, and opportunity. Working with the resources of the entire institution, the program is based on the critical components of the athletic mission, academic excellence, and social development.  

Methodology
Student-athletes bond with their athletic programs. They are recruited by coaches to represent the institution in their chosen sport; therefore, a large percentage of their collegiate experience revolves around team dynamics. Unintentional silos are often developed, creating missed opportunities and experiences within the collegiate experience. A student-athlete will bond and associate with his or her athletic program; meanwhile, student-athletes travel the educational highway with their class. The Cubs to Bears program helps facilitate interaction of the student-athlete with other members of the collegiate community on the educational highway.

Each class (freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior) is assigned to athletic administrators, with one administrator designated as the lead contact. 
 
The lead contact is required to develop a curriculum that addresses the needs of each class through lectures, discussions, and programs. Each class is required to meet at least two to three times per semester. At the conclusion of the academic year, the athletic department will sponsor a battle of the classes, which involves spirited competition in athletic, social, and educational activities. The Cubs to Bears program adds excitement to the event, because classes have worked together throughout the year. Each class is given t-shirts with "Cubs to Bears" imprinted on the front (freshmen and sophomores have the cub logo; juniors and seniors have the bear logo). On the back of the shirt, their class year is posted (2015, 2016, etc.). Colors outside of the traditional school colors are awarded each class (bright pastel colors). The same colors are then used every year to identify that particular class with their respective date of graduation. 
 
Working Relationships
The Cubs to Bears program works with a plethora of campus stakeholders to educate each class. Programming exposes them to opportunities within the college setting that impact their goals of academic excellence and social development. All programs should be interactive, informative, and visual if possible. The NYIT athletics department has forged positive relationships with key individuals and departments on campus who will address each class with a message geared towards that particular class. For example, NYIT Career Services assists the senior class with resume writing and interview techniques, while assisting freshmen with resumes and internships. 
 
Departments on campus that are part of the program include:
  • Career Servoces
  • Counseling and Wellness
  • Enrollment Management
  • Academic Support and Advisement
  • Development
  • Alumni Affairs
Conclusion
The opportunities for this program are boundless. Working with on-campus and off-campus resources creates an infinite number of opportunities for programming geared toward improving the quality of life of the student-athletes while also improving their interpersonal skills through interaction with others outside of their comfort zone.