More Than the Score: Northeaster Junior College

Successful student-athletes are not just defined by athletic achievement but also by academic success and their ability to persevere, communicate, and collaborate. Administration and staff at programs like Northeastern Junior College (NJC) set a precedent for student-athletes to acquire knowledge and first-hand experience off the court while advancing on the court. What we found most inspiring about our conversation with Athletic Director Marci Henry and Assistant Athletic Director, Denise Dennington is how they have led by example. Since they installed ScoreVision in 2018, they’ve rallied behind creating an exciting game-day experience for their fans and athletes. They’ve also worked hard to implement educational aspects to the use of their system. When we sat down to speak with them, we learned about how the boards have encouraged their student-athletes and how they created a work-study program for any student to participate in creating the game-day experience, some of which are athletes themselves. 

The students help manage the SV Producer app, handle photography, and participate in hosting media days, all of which have been under the direction of Denise, who humbly admitted it was a learning experience for her too. “I have learned a bunch of new skills over the course of the last few years, which I never knew I needed,” she shared.  “You get what you put into it. If you put in a marginal amount of effort, you will get a marginal product. But if you put in the work, you will have an exceptional outcome.” ScoreVision offers Game Day Enhancement Packages for schools to use immediately following installation, including generic hype clips, “QUIX” (sport-specific animations), and even player accolade templates that fit the school’s brand. A lot of teams, however, enjoy creating customized content themselves. Student involvement gives them a chance to learn more about sports entertainment, production, motion graphics, photography, videography, and sports management, which are all vital within the sports entertainment and marketing industry.

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It’s really about providing an excellent experience for students at NJC. We asked Marci about her goal for the student-athletes at NJC, and her response was simple, “We just want to see our student-athletes graduate and walk across the stage with their teammates.”

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NJC is a strong example of how schools can integrate their system beyond athletics and help students achieve their goals. It’s clear they want their student-athletes to succeed in life, and they provide them with the tools necessary to do so. Whether it’s a student-athlete interested in transferring to a four-year college or applying for a position following graduation, they benefit from the ability to promote themselves, demonstrate teamwork, and apply skills they’ve learned off the court, all while portraying a strong sense of work ethic. 

Northeastern Junior College is located in the vibrant city of Sterling, Colorado. As a participating member of the National Junior College Athletic Association, they compete against teams in Region IX.