NCAA Championships: Blended Training Design and Development


The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit association which regulates intercollegiate athletics programs at colleges and universities across the United States. They have over 3,000 members and approximately 200 committees that monitor and coordinate university athletics events and ensure a successful student-athlete experience. The NCAA supports student-athletes’ success on the field, in the classroom, and in life by integrating athletics into higher education.


At the NCAA national office, the Championships group is responsible for planning and executing 88 championship events each year for college athletics. The staff had traditionally learned how to do their jobs simply by job shadowing. They were assigned championships and worked with a senior staff person whom they shadowed until they developed proficiency. There was no formal training program. The NCAA approached Springboard International and asked us to create a formal, self-paced training program that also provided opportunities for high-touch mentoring and experiential activities. This program had to take a new employee through a full 12 months’ cycle of championship activities, and needed to reference the wealth of printed regulations and manuals that serve as resources for the staff.


The Springboard team worked in collaboration with key Championships staff to design a training program and then developed all of the materials to support new employee development. We assisted in identifying the technology provider – whose platform deployed the training program – and established user requirements and screen mock-ups for the online vendor. The training program includes self-paced activities, a Resource Center with links to other resources, scheduled facilitator sessions, a Peer Mentor component to support the new employee, assessments and evaluations after each module, and specific connections to the performance review and Championships review cycles. In addition, the program includes a facilitator guide that is used by multiple internal facilitators and a peer mentor guide that is used to support internal coaching of the new employee.


This program has completely changed Championships employees’ onboarding experience and has allowed them to achieve proficiency much more quickly. Employees report that the training system “is intuitive and made my job very clear.” Championships leadership can literally “see” the employees progressing through the steps to success. The integrated self-assessments, manager evaluations, and peer mentor check-ins provide continual evaluation for the new manager and ensure successful mastery of the training content over time.