The Cubs to Bears program is a part of NYIT’s Athletics Department’s BEAR (Bear Education Athletic & Retention) program. The program 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 goal of the program is based on two critical components of the athletic mission, academic excellence, and social development.
Student-athletes bond with their athletic programs. They are recruited by coaches to represent the institution in their chosen sports; therefore, a large percentage of their collegiate experience revolves around team dynamics. Unintentional silos are often times developed thus creating missed opportunities and experiences within the collegiate experience. A student-athlete will bond and associate with their athletic program; however, they 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, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors is assigned to athletic administrators with one administrator designated as the lead contact.
The lead contact is required to develop a curriculum which addresses the needs of each class through lectures, discussions and programs. Each class is required to meet at least 2 to 3 times per semester. At the conclusion of the academic year the athletic department will sponsor a battle of the classes, which will involve 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 as opposed to showing up in the spring. 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 will be 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.
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 the key individuals and departments on campus who will address each class with a message geared towards that particular class. For example, the Career Services Department assists the senior class with resume writing and interview techniques, while assisting the freshmen with building their resumes and internships.
Departments on campus that are part of the program include but not limited to:
Counseling and Wellness
Enrollment Services and Academic Support
Development & Alumni Affairs
The opportunities for this program are boundless. Working with on-campus and off- campus resources creates and allows for an infinite number of opportunities to create programming geared to improving the quality of life of the student-athletes while also improving their interpersonal skills through interaction with others outside of their comfort zone.