How Cap and Gown came to be:
During the summer of 2014, College of the Redwoods
athletic counselor Matt McCann met with head
football coach Taylor Breitzman, to develop solutions
for increasing the retention of football players and
improving both individual and team academic performance
and success with a program of academic support.
As a result, the College of the Redwoods Football team
launched the Cap and Gown Program in the fall of 2014.
The results of the program were overwhelming. In Cap
and Gown’s first year, the problem of losing football
players due to academic ineligibility during the season
was virtually eliminated. The overall GPA for the team
improved by one half of a grade point. Additionally,
about eighty percent of the student athletes who tested
into the lowest levels of English and Math (non-credit),
had tested into college credit level English and Math by
the end of the semester.
Coach Breitzman commented, “We couldn’t continue to
go down this path (of academic struggles) if we wanted to
be successful in retaining student athletes from one year to
the next. The X’s and O’s on the chalkboard don’t mean a
thing if the players don’t do well in the classroom.”
McCann and Breitzman joined forces with Julia Peterson,
the director of Community Education, to institute a
program of supervised tutoring and basic skills training
that players were required to attend Monday through
Thursday for an hour and a half after practice each day.
Because of the success of the Cap and Gown Program for
football, other athletic teams at College of the Redwoods
were eager to adapt the Cap and Gown model. As of the
fall of 2015, all of the College of the Redwoods athletic
teams, with the encouragement of the faculty and the
full support of the athletic department and the school
administration, will be incorporating Cap and Gown into
their programs in order to promote student academic
success for all athletes.