Louisiana State University Partners With Kaplan to Better Prepare Their Student-Athletes for the Workforce

Louisiana State University, the flagship institution of the Louisiana State University System, has partnered with Kaplan, the global educational services provider, to offer Kaplan Credegree™ programs in more than 15 areas to LSU student-athletes. Kaplan Credegree enhances college graduates’ job readiness and marketability by pairing the university’s traditional four-year degree program with industry-recognized credentials, which are highly valued by employers. LSU is one of a growing number of institutions of higher learning that is making a major investment in alternative credentialing programs, which could be of great benefit to traditionally time-strapped student-athletes looking to upskill before graduation.

Louisiana State University, the flagship institution of the LSU System, has partnered with Kaplan, the global educational services provider, to offer Kaplan Credegree programs in more than 15 areas to its student-athletes.

Kaplan Credegree seeks to bridge the gap between the expectations of student-athletes and their prospects to play professionally, ensuring they are marketable in the workforce. Half of those playing men’s basketball and one in five women’s basketball players believe it is at least “somewhat likely” that they will compete professionally or in the Olympics, according to a 2019 NCAA survey. But in fact, fewer than 2 percent of NCAA athletes go on to compete professionally. Of the more than 480,000 students currently competing in an NCAA program, the overwhelming majority will eventually earn their living doing something besides playing sports. The partnership announcement also comes at a time when more student-athletes are speaking out about how athletic programs can better prepare them for life after graduation.

Among the credentialing programs offered at LSU are: Certified Digital Marketing Professional (DMI Pro), Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Certified Public Accountant, and Wealth Management Specialist (WMSSM). LSU athletes can also receive preparation for professional licensing exams such as the NCLEX-RN® for nurses. Louisiana State University’s athletic department is the first college athletics department in the nation to adopt Kaplan Credegree programs.

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The Kaplan Credegree offerings build upon LSU’s commitment to helping their student-athletes prepare for life after the field. In 2016, the flagship university became the first Southeastern Conference (SEC) school to partner with Kaplan to provide GRE®, GMAT®, LSAT®, MCAT®, DAT®, OAT®, and PCAT® prep to support their student-athletes getting ready for the graduate school admissions process.

“LSU Athletics prides itself in providing student-athletes with everything they need to perform at the highest levels, in the classroom and in competition,” said LSU Director of Athletics Scott Woodward. “Our partnership with Kaplan has been integral in helping our student-athletes earn their degrees and maximize their opportunities, during their collegiate careers and after.”

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“We are very excited to expand our partnership with Kaplan. It’s a real game changer for our student-athletes. We are committed to challenging student-athletes to achieve their highest level of intellectual and personal development and our strengthened partnership with Kaplan emphasizes the importance of furthering one’s education and preparing our student-athletes for life after LSU,” said Walt Holliday, executive director of the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes, Louisiana State University.

Mark Reimonenq, Kaplan’s director of partner solutions, added, “LSU Athletics providing this type of inclusive access goes a long way to demonstrate their commitment to removing barriers of entry to graduate or professional school and certain career fields, regardless of their socioeconomic or cultural background. LSU is known nationwide for providing students with a world-class liberal arts education and coupled with Kaplan’s Credegree programs, their student-athletes will be even better equipped to close the skills gap and succeed in the world of work.”

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