BBH 197J

Biobehavioral Health 197J (BBH 197J) is a 3.0-credit course designed to offer first-year student-athletes a broader understanding of the effects of health and wellness on the academic, athletic, and personal aspects of their lives.  This course is designed to assist student-athletes in coping with the new, rigorous demands placed upon them as they transition to become college students. As part of the First-year Enrichment Program, this course focuses on academic planning, successful student behavioral strategies, career exploration, eligibility and cultural diversity. The course is tailored to educate student-athletes about the issues they will face as they transition into college and a Division 1A athletic program.  Topics discussed are: understanding personal responsibility, values clarification, healthy nutrition, alcohol and other drug education, and healthy sexuality. Using an experiential learning approach, decision-making model that includes facts, risks, and consequences, and individual and group developmental activities, special focus is given to areas affecting the daily lives of first-year student-athletes.

Penn State Alumni Association First-Year Enrichment Program

The first year presents student-athletes with many developmental tasks. They must develop competence (academically, athletically, personally, socially); manage emotions (fear of failure, homesickness); move from autonomy to interdependence (the “big fish in a little pond” to “little fish in a big pond”); establish identity (a sense of self and feeling good about who they are); develop interpersonal relationships (with teammates, coaches, roommates), purpose (clarifying goals), and integrity.

The First Year Enrichment Program is designed to help student-athletes accomplish many of these tasks. It has three goals: 1) to assist student-athletes in becoming efficient and successful in their studies; 2) to help them assume responsibility for their academic success; and 3) to aid them in coping with new and rigorous demands of college life. These goals are accomplished through academic pre-assessment, and BBH 197J, our first-year seminar course, designed to develop coping skills for the high school to college transition, and mandatory study enrichment sessions.

Study Enhancement

Study enhancement sessions provide a structured environment where student-athletes spend an assigned amount of hours on quiet individual study or with specific assigned tutors. Regular attendance helps develop time management skills and study routines needed to be a successful student. Our study enhancement sessions are located in three different facilities on campus. Each facility has a quiet study area, separate tutoring rooms and a large computer lab.

Sessions are mandatory for all first-year student-athletes and are available to upperclassmen as well.

For additional information about Study Enhancement sessions, contact Mark Hinish at 814-865-0407 or