Nicole Meulemans Publishes in IJSPE

Nicole Meulemans
Nicole Meulemans

Student life director co-writes article on student-athletes

Nicole Meulemans, student life director at Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College, published an article in the International Journal of Sports and Physical Education (IJSPE). Co-written with Jon Lim, Bryan Romsa and Katelyn Romsa, the IJSPE article appears in 2019 in Volume 5, Issue 3 and is titled “Factors Influencing the College Choice Decisions of Community College Student-Athletes.” Nicole also serves as DCTC student support services and student development programs interim director.

Abstract: A decision to attend college is based on many academic and athletic factors. Identifying factors most influential in college selection is beneficial to college administrators, recruiters, and coaches, and will ultimately influence recruitment, retention, and short and long-term strategic plans of an institution. This study examined factors influencing the college choice decisions of community college student-athletes in the Midwestern United States. Participants for this study were composed of 107 student-athletes (59 males and 48 females) from 19 community colleges in the Midwest regions of the National Junior College Athletic Conference (NJCAC).

This study discovered that the three most significant factors in college selection were (a) athletics/sports/extracurricular activities, (b) cost of attendance/tuition fees, and (c) head coach and coaching staff. Men selected more “athletically related factors” as influential, whereas women selected “non-athletic” as more influential. Practitioners may use this information to effectively shape their recruiting and marketing practices.

Keywords: Community College Athletes; College Choice Factors; College Selection Process


The participation rates in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sports have shown a steady and continual climb over the past three decades and are at an all-time high for both male and female student-athletes (NCAA, 2019). Nearly half a million college athletes make up the 19,750 teams that send more than 52,500 participants to compete each year in the NCAA’s 90 championships in 24 sports across 3 divisions.

According to the recent NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report, there were a total of 494,992 student-athletes competing in 24 sports at the Division I, II, and III, with the number of teams competing in NCAA championship sponsored sports continued to rise to a record of more than 19,000 during 2017-18 academic year (NCAA, 2018).

Considering the ever-increasing number of collegiate student-athletes, intercollegiate athletics are an essential aspect of both higher education and American culture (Upthegrove, Roscigno, & Charles, 1999). Furthermore, most higher education leaders agree that athletics are an important component of colleges and universities (Perna, 2014).

The success of intercollegiate athletic programs can positively influence institutional academic reputation (Stinson & Howard, 2007), donations from alumnae and local boosters (Stinson & Howard, 2004; Tucker, 2004), admission applications (Toma& Cross, 1998), and revenues from television coverage (Fulks, 2000). READ MORE…

More about Nicole…

Nicole Meulemans started working at Dakota County Technical College in 2004. Nicole serves in the roles of DCTC student life director and student support services and student development programs interim director. She took on the role of student life director at Inver Hills Community College in 2015. She served as athletics administrator for the DCTC Blue Knights Athletic department, overseeing six NJCAA sports programs.

Nicole has a Master of Science (M.S.) in Athletic Administration from Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she served as the 2008 graduate student commencement speaker. She also has an undergraduate degree in exercise and sports science from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.

Nicole is a 2016 graduate of the Luoma Leadership Academy and a Phi Theta Kappa Golden Apple recipient. In 2012, she was named LeadMN (formerly MSCSA) Student Senate Advisor of the Year. She has served on various college-wide committees, including the Care Team and Strategic Enrollment Management Committee.

In 2010, Nicole led the initiative for DCTC to be designated a Yellow Ribbon Campus supporting veterans, military members and their families. Nicole resides in Lakeville, Minnesota, with her husband, Ryan, and their two children, Addison and Bennett.

Learn more about Student Life at Inver Hills by contacting:

Nicole Meulemans
Director of Student Life

Nicki Bottko
Associate Director of Student Life

Jenni Yamada
Student Life Activities Coordinator

Learn more about Student Life at DCTC by contacting:

Nicole Meulemans
Director of Student Life
Interim Director of Student Support Services and Student Development Programs

Anna Voight
Associate Director of Student Life

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