CHAMPS/Life Skills

Griz A.C.E.S
Life Skills for Student-Athletes

Griz A.C.E.S (Athletes Committed to Excellence in School, Sports, Service and Social responsibility) is a comprehensive personal development program for student-athletes at The University of Montana. The program is designed to assist student-athletes in their academic, athletic, and personal growth. The Griz A.C.E.S. program is comprised of several components which focus on providing student-athletes with a variety of life-skills and encourage community involvement and service


CHAMPS/Life Skills
(Challenging Athletes' Minds for Personal Success)

The University of Montana Department of Intercollegiate Athletics adheres to the NCAA's CHAMPS/Life Skills Program by providing support for all student-athletes to develop in multi-dimensional ways. The program is committed to enhancing UM student-athletes' overall experience while preparing them for successful and productive lives and careers after college. The University of Montana's CHAMPS/Life Skills Program is aligned with the five commitment statements of the NCAA's CHAMPS/Life Skills Program:

Commitment Statements
  1. Commitment to Academic Excellence
    To support the academic progress of the student-athlete toward intellectual development and graduation
  2. Commitment to Athletic Excellence
    To build philosophical foundations for the development of athletic programs that are broad-based, equitable and dedicated to the well-being of the student-athlete.
  3. Commitment to Personal Development
    To support the development of a well-balanced lifestyle for student-athletes, encouraging emotional well-being, personal growth and decision making skills.
  4. Commitment to Service
    To engage the student-athlete in service to his/her campus and surrounding communities.
  5. Commitment to Career Development
    To encourage the student-athlete to develop and pursue career and life goals.

CHAMPS/Life Skills at The University of Montana

Commitment to Academic Excellence:
  • Athletic Academic Services Staff
  • Academic Advising
  • Priority Registration
  • Free Tutoring
  • Jacobson Academic Center - free computer lab access
  • Degree Completion Scholarships
  • Summer School Financial Aid
  • Team Study Tables
  • Mid-Term Grade Checks
  • Travel Letters
  • Academic Awards

Commitment to Athletic Excellence:
  • 14 NCAA Division I Athletic Teams (8 female: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, volleyball; 6 male: basketball, cross country, football, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field)  (www.gogriz.com)

Commitment to Personal Development:

Commitment to Service:

Commitment to Career Development:


Griz S.C.A.P.E.

Griz S.C.A.P.E. (Sport Counseling and Performance Enhancement) Services and Resource Center provides UM athletes with resource information and counseling assistance in life-skills education and sport performance enhancement. Programming includes:
  • An academic course in optimal performance strategies and life-skills education (Health and Human Performance 270)
  • Sport counseling to provide assistance as needed in two related areas
  • Performance enhancement counseling to assist in developing sport confidence, visual organization skills and optimal performance strategies
  • Life-skills counseling and referral services to help with nutritional issues, drug and alcohol issues, and crisis management
  • A resource library containing NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills materials, as well as sport performance enhancement books, articles, and pamphlets
  • A semiannual Griz S.C.A.P.E. newsletter updating all Grizzly student-athletes on optimal performance issues and life-skills information
(Contact: Dr. Charlie Palmer, Health and Human Performance faculty, McGill Hall 106, 243-4826, charles.palmer@umontana.edu)



NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Program - Mission Statement

The NCAA is committed to a comprehensive program of life skills that provides educational experience and services in order to develop well-balanced lifestyles for student-athletes; to encourage growth in decision-making, planning and fulfillment of career and life goals; and to enhance the quality of the student-athlete experience within the university setting.

In the process of achieving this mission, the NCAA Life Skills Program will:
  • Support efforts of every student-athlete toward intellectual development and graduation
  • Use athletics as preparation for success in life
  • Meet the changing needs of the student-athletes
  • Promote respect for diversity among student-athletes
  • Enhance interpersonal relationships in the lives of student-athletes
  • Assist student-athletes to build positive self-esteem
  • Enable student-athletes to make meaningful contributions to their communities
  • Promote ownership by the student-athletes of his/her academic, athletic, personal and social responsibilities
  • Enhance partnerships between the NCAA, member institutions and their communities for the purpose of education


NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Program - Values Statement

We believe in:
  • The total development of the student-athlete in each of the following areas:
  1. Academics
  2. Athletics
  3. Personal Development
  4. Service
  5. Career Development
  • Promoting a balanced experience for the student-athlete within the university environment and surrounding community
  • Providing n environment that promotes the development of values clarification, goal setting and responsible decision making
  • Providing an environment of proactive programming rather than reactive intervention
  • Continual evaluation and support of the Life Skills Program and member institutions

Official Griz Gear