Athletic Academic Services


About Athletic Academic Services
History of Athletic Academic Services

Athletic Academic Services
The Undergraduate Advising Center is the center for academic advising and academic assistance at The University of Montana.

Jennifer Zellmer-Cuaresma, Advisor
Grace Harris, Advisor

Lindsey Goodman, Advisor/Life Skills Coordinator

UM Campus Services
There are many academic services available on campus for students to utilize. Click on any of the below links to go to the website of that particular service.

Enrollment Services
Internship Services
Career Services
The Writing Center
Disability Student Services
Registrar's Office
Financial Aid
Career Athletes


Athletic Academic Services Mission Statement and Objectives

The University of Montana and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics are committed to serving its student-athletes and their pursuit of academic excellence. Athletic Academic Services (AAS) continues this commitment by supporting student-athletes’ overall development and their pursuit of academic and professional goals. Therefore, the objectives of AAS are:

  • To assist every student-athlete in progressing towards a timely graduation
  • To enhance  the personal, academic, and professional development of student-athletes
  • To connect student-athletes with campus resources
  • To maintain the academic integrity of the University
  • To comply with all NCAA, Big Sky Conference, and The University of Montana rules and regulations


About Athletic Academic Services

Athletic Academic Services (AAS) provides support to student-athletes as they pursue their degrees at UM. AAS is within the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, but is housed in the Undergraduate Advising Center in the Lommasson Center to maintain cooperation with campus advising.

One of the main priorities of the staff is academic advising, which involves course selection to fulfill UM’s general education and graduation requirements, while working closely with faculty members in the various major departments. On top of upholding UM’a academic requirements, student-athletes are also held to academic requirements mandated by the Big Sky Conference and the NCAA. These involve routine checks of student-athlete’s cumulative GPA, credit hours successfully completed, and working towards a specified degree program.

In addition to academic advising, some of the other services available to UM’s student-athletes are fully funded tutoring to enhance their academic success and referrals to other campus resources such as Disability Services, Career Services, multicultural offices, and health and counseling services. Assistance is also provided with team travel and priority registration.

Athletic Academic Services now provides the New Student-Athlete Course for all student-athletes during their first year to help ease the transition to college. This course covers a variety of topics including time management, academic goal setting, NCAA rules and regulations, UM rules and requirements, study skills, writing and reading skills, and an introduction to other campus resources. For upperclassmen, career workshops are offered on various topics such as writing effective resumes, pursuing graduate degrees, interviewing techniques, and networking.

Student-athletes also have the opportunity to get involved with the Griz in the Community program, where they volunteer to speak with youth in the local schools or participate in one-day service projects coordinated with community organizations. As volunteers with this program, student-athletes gain valuable experience but also have the opportunity to show their appreciation of the generous support provided by surrounding communities.


History of Athletic Academic Services 

The University of Montana not only has an outstanding athletic program, but it is also one of the best in the country in academics. UM student-athletes excel in the classroom with the help of three academic advisors, who work directly with approximately 300 student-athletes in all 14 sports.

The office of Athletic Academic Services has proven its success semester after semester with the student-athletes overall receiving higher cumulative and term GPA’s and holding more term credits than the general student population.

UM’s commitment to academic excellence was strengthened in 1992, when Marie Porter was hired as Montana’s first Coordinator of Athletic Academic Services. She implemented a program to help student-athletes with weekly tracking of academic progress, advising of course curriculum, tutoring, referring to campus support services, and upholding NCAA compliance regulations.

When Porter was named UM’s Associate Athletic Director in February of 1996, student assistant Angie Valdez assumed the responsibilities of academic services and served in that role until July 1998. Jean Gee provided leadership for the academic services until September 2004, when she was named as the Associate Athletic Director. Laura Hickey coordinated the Athletic Academic Services from September 2004-2007.   Darr Tucknott coordinated services from September 2007-2012.

 In January 2008, UM expanded the Athletic Academic Services program to better serve the needs of student-athletes by hiring Louise Torgerson to fulfill the role of an additional Athletic Academic Advisor, which she did until August 2009.  Jennifer Zellmer-Cuaresma was then hired in October 2009 to serve as an Athletic Academic Advisor and since Tucknott’s departure in 2012, she has provided leadership for the academic services program.  Grace Harris joined Athletic Academic Services as an advisor in July of 2012.  In June 2013 an additional advisor/Life Skills role was created and filled by Lindsey Goodman.


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