Ed 300 Research Proposal

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 Research Question: How did the enactment of Title IX change the academic and athletic experiences of both female and male student-athletes in colleges and universities?

Significance:  Women’s collegiate sports have progressed tremendously since the first nationally organized female collegiate competition in 1941.  The biggest advancement in women’s collegiate athletics since this time came in 1971 with the founding of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW).  The AIAW, which prided itself in focusing on the “student” aspect of student-athletes, aimed to prevent unfair advantages in competition by allowing female athletes to transfer between schools and prohibiting athletic scholarships and off-campus recruiting.  The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), which strictly dealt with men’s athletics, tended to focus more on the “athlete” aspect of student-athlete and was often seen as commercially driven and known for awarding plenty of full scholarships.  In 1972 Title IX was passed, which is a portion of the Education Amendments of 1972 stating “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance…” (OASAM).  Although this portion was not specifically aimed at fixing discrimination in athletics, Title IX became most known for and had one of the greatest effects on ending sexist inequity in sports.  Through Title IX, the NCAA eventually began offering championships to Division II and III female athletic teams in 1980, and to Division 1 teams in 1981, which marked the collapse of the AIAW and the NCAA takeover of women’s collegiate sports.

Title IX significantly impacted the experiences of female and male student-athletes on and off the field, mostly in a positive way but sometimes negatively.  My paper aims to answer the questions of what specific impacts Title IX had on collegiate athletics and academics, and how and why this affected both male and female collegiate student-athletes.  This topic has significance in relation to our Education 300 class because athletics are an integral part of many students’ educational and collegiate experiences.  Benefits of playing sports include growing leadership skills, increasing health and self-esteem, and adapting more responsible social behavior, which all lead to higher academic performance.  This topic is especially meaningful to me because I am a varsity college athlete here at Trinity, and I have reaped many of the benefits of playing sports throughout my whole life, especially during my college years.  As a female, without the passing of Title IX, I might never have had the opportunity as a collegiate athlete.  Playing on the volleyball team at Trinity has helped me in many aspects of my academic and social or personal life throughout college.    I think it is important to research the question of how Title IX has already impacted the experiences of student-athletes in order to continue changing inequalities in this venue.

Research Strategy:  I started my search for sources by using a general Google search under phrases like “first female collegiate athletics”, “Title IX”, and “the effects of Title IX in collegiate sports”.  These searches lead me to Wikipedia, and under Wikipedia’s sources section I was able to find a couple of relevant and useful sources.  I also used the Trinity library homepage, and under the tab “Articles” I searched by database title and chose “Education Full Text”, then hit “Go” and typed in “Title IX”.  This search provided many useful sources from which I chose a few to use.  Searching “Title IX” AND “college” was also helpful because many of the sources from the original search targeted high school athletics and academics.


Haglund, Eric. 2005. “Staring Down the Elephant: College Football and Title IX Compliance.” Journal Of Law & Education 34, no. 3: 439-452. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed April 5, 2013).

Hardy, Lawrence. 2012. “The Legacy of Title IX.” American School Board Journal 199, no. 8: 12-15. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed April 5, 2013).

Kilman, Carrie. “Beyond the Playing Field.” Teaching Tolerance no. 42 (Fall2012 2012): 29-33. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed April 5, 2013).

Lancaster, Michael . “Title IX And Its Effect On College Athletic Programs..” College Athletic Scholarships. College Scouting And Recruiting.. Web. 29 Oct. 2010. <http://www.athleticscholarships.net/title-ix-college-athletics.htm>.

McKeon, Michael. 2012. “The Law That’s Title IX.” American School Board Journal 199, no. 8: 17-19. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed April 5, 2013).

Siegel, D. “The Union of Athletics with Educational Institutions,” Athletics and Education. <http://www.science.smith.edu/exer_sci/ESS200/Ed/Athletic.htm>

Suggs, Welch. 2003. “U.S. commission on Title IX calls for protecting men’s teams.” Chronicle Of Higher Education 49, no. 25: A40. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed April 5, 2013).

Vest, Becky, and Gerald Masterson. 2007. “Title IX and Its Effect on Sports Programs in High School and Collegiate Athletics.” Coach & Athletic Director 77, no. 5: 60-62. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed April 5, 2013).

2 thoughts on “Ed 300 Research Proposal”

  1. Sarah, as we discussed, you have an excellent start on a fruitful research topic, but the question as currently framed is too broad, and you would be best served by narrowing the focus into something more manageable for the scope of an Ed 300 essay. Currently, you have this:
    How did the enactment of Title IX change the academic and athletic experiences of both female and male student-athletes in colleges and universities?

    Alternatives RQs to consider:
    1A) Focus on policy talk: To what extent did lawmakers involved in Title IX discuss its potential impact on college athletics, and how did this focus evolve over time as the law was implemented?

    1B) Focus on academics vs athletics in the policy debate: When Title IX was originally debated in 1972, how much was the focus on academics vs. athletics, and to what extent has that shifted over time?

    2) Views of students then and now: How did female students in 1972 talk about the Title IX bill and its potential impact on their lives, and how do today’s generation of college women talk about it today? (Or another variation that looks at how female students discussed athletics vs. academics when talking about the law, and how that shifts over time.) Or as you suggested, “What were female college students saying about potential effects of Title IX on academics or athletics at time when it was being passed, versus a comparable generation of female college students say now?

    If you chose this RQ #2, then your source materials could be:
    a) popular magazine articles, news stories, interviews with female students in 1972-73, versus similar sources today. Look to full-text databases, or look to popular press publications that came out just after the bill was debated in public.
    b) America: History & Life database for historical articles about a topic
    c) Lexis-Nexis, Chronicle.com (maybe current views only, only back to 1980s or so)
    d) Ed Index Retrospective (narrow search to early 1970s)

    Remember that some databases have specialized search terms, so if you find one ideal article, see how it is listed and look for similar

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