Adelphi’s Sport Management Program: Small Classes In A Big City

Mim Haigh
Sports Writer – Athlete Assessments

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Adelphi University is committed to student success, how does that translate into their sport management program?

New York is the headquarters for all four major sports leagues and home to celebrated NFL teams the Giants and Jets, historic baseball teams the Yankees and the Mets, basketball’s Knicks, Nets and Liberty, soccer’s Red Bulls, the U.S. Open and the New York Marathon. In short, it’s a sports lovers paradise.

So, when it comes to sport management programs, it’s no wonder students choose Adelphi University. With its main campus on Long Island and a satellite campus right in middle of New York City, it’s hardwired into the greatest sporting city in the world and relentless in its pursuit of student success.

The university’s mission is to transform lives and its vision to provide individualized education. Its program in sport management supports students with small classes, and an intensive student to teacher ratio. Small is unusual in a city as big as New York, but small is exactly what sets Adelphi apart.

Assistant Professor, Dr Julian Woolf says of the Sport Management program, “our class sizes are small – the average undergraduate class is 20.8 students and our student to faculty ratio is 10:1. All this means that our students receive a personalized higher education experience”.

As for the actual components of the program, they include; sports marketing, sport and its place within American culture and an internship which gives students a much-needed opportunity to observe, participate, apply their skills and build networks.

Dr Woolf explained that, “we design our curriculum so students are provided direction while also enabling them to have the flexibility to specialize. At the undergraduate level, students supplement their core sport management courses with a sequence of course clusters focused on business, communication, or psychology. At the graduate level, students can specialize in Collegiate Athletic Administration or Sport Marketing”.

Adelphi University is a highly awarded and nationally ranked doctoral research university. It offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs plus professional training with strength in its Core Four – Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, Business and Education and Health and Wellness.

Founded in Brooklyn in 1896, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. Today Adelphi serves over 7,600 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York – just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities – and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley, Suffolk County, and online.

Dr Woolf elaborates on why students choose the Adelphi program of sport management, “we are in New York and have a satellite campus in New York City. Students have easy access to the greatest sport city in the world. And of course, our program is distinct. It is focused and prepares students for the career they want to pursue. Our graduate program takes into account that people are working full-time and may be going back to school to advance their education, their career, or even change their career. We offer late night classes to accommodate these students so that they can work and study at the same time”.

In addition to the small classes, Adelphi is committed to supporting diversity and choice within its’ staff and student body. Across all of its’ campuses, in total Adelphi accepts 73% of applications, reports that 93% of its freshman year received financial aid and is the university of choice for ex-service men and women.

Dr Woolf says, “Adelphi University strives to be a model for diversity and inclusion. This is reflected in our recruitment efforts, the spaces we have on campus, and the conversations we have, the opportunities for personal development. We offer a Diversity Certificate available to all employees – it involves taking 5 workshops and a capstone – so again, we are serious about our efforts in this regard. There are opportunities to learn from people from different backgrounds and walks of life”.

Explaining that diversity is embedded in the curriculum, Dr Woolf recalls how documentary filmmaker Niko van Glasow addressed classes about his film My Way to Olympia, which focused on Paralympic athletes. Dr Woolf states that, “sometimes we see organizations and universities make bold statements about who they are and what they do. At Adelphi University we live these statements in all that we do”.

Because student success is such a high priority for Adelphi, we’re very interested in Dr Woolf’s assessment of what the most important skills are for students post graduation, he prioritized “the ability to communicate and to think critically”. He said, “having small class sizes enables our faculty to work closely with students to help develop both these skills.”

When Adelphi included Athlete Assessments’ Sports ManagerDISC Profile in their Sport Management program it was a logical step. Dr Woolf said, “the Sports ManagerDISC Profile was beneficial for the students in that it helped them understand and reflect upon their own behaviors. Moreover, learning how this might affect team dynamics was insightful. Teams do not just happen. They have to be managed if they are to perform optimally. Knowing how different behavioral styles interact was a valuable outcome as it enabled students to consider the perspective of others and how that might affect team chemistry”.

Being included in their curriculum has meant that each student received their own comprehensive Sports ManagerDISC Profile report, access to Athlete Assessments’ Student Workbook and online resources, as well as a guest lecture by Bo Hanson, Senior Coaching Consultant, 4x Olympian, 3x Olympic Medalist.

The guest lecture served to consolidate the learning opportunities the use of the Sports ManagerDISC Profile started, Dr Woolf said, “it was very positive. Even several weeks after, students make reference to the different dominate styles, which shows that deep learning has occurred rather than just surface learning.

“We use the Sports ManagerDISC Profile as part of a multiple step project where students reflect upon and learn about their own approach to management and leadership. It is a journey of self-discovery. In some cases, this exercise helps to confirm to the student that they have chosen the right career path. In other cases, students question their decision and start to contemplate whether a different career path would make them happier and where they might be able to make more of a difference”.

Biography for Dr Julian Woolf
Assistant Professor Exercise Science, Health Studies, Physical Education, & Sport Management

Dr Woolf has a Ph.D. Kinesiology (Sport Management) from The University of Texas at Austin that he gained in 2007, a M.Ed. in Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology and Nutrition), from The University of Texas at Austin that he gained in 2001 and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Sport Science, from The University of Wolverhampton, England in 1996.

He’s particularly interested in the way sport and policy are managed to ensure that the benefits of sport are actualized within the community. Consequently, he focuses on the following three areas, doping in sport, the development of sport and the use of sport for development.

He says, “doping naturally addresses the negative side of the equation, though the Development of Sport (particularly elite sport) also involves issues of health and performance to which I am interested. In this regard I am interested in how we develop sport and those who participate by examining how people are recruited, retained, and transfer from one level of sport to another. The third area is an emergent area of interest to sport management scholars. Sport is often purported to contribute to people’s development and I question the veracity of this claim with an aim to understand under what circumstance it may be veridical.”

Where to from here?

Dr Julian Woolf uses Athlete Assessments’ Academic Program as part of their curriculum in their Sport Management at Adelphi University.

Whether you teach Sport Management, Sport Coaching, Sport and Health Sciences or sport psychology, provide your students with the skills which differentiate them when they enter the competitive sports industry. The success of your students reflects the success of your University Academic Program and we want to help you achieve success on all fronts.

Find out everything you need to know. We’ll send you a full information pack and organize your trial at no cost to you. We also will review your syllabus and make recommendations on the best way to incorporate the program within your class.

Contact us to receive your own information pack and free trial now.

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Athlete Assessments' Academic Program has everything you need!


Athlete Assessments’ DISC Profiles are specifically tailored to sport.

disc profile

Each student completes a DISC Profile assessment of most relevance to the class or stream.

guest lecture

Guest lecture (via video conference) by one of our experienced consultants to debrief the students’ DISC Reports. 

Either live or prerecorded, the guest lecture is tailored to your class objectives.

learning guide

200+ page Student Learning Guide including an accompanying video series.

comprehensive video series

Videos match to the Learning Guide sections to explain content and facilitate key activities.

Your Students will find them engaging and educational.

admin support

Our team provides full support and DISC Profile administration is managed for you.

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Bo Hanson

Senior Consultant & Director

Bo Hanson’s career within the sport and the business sector spans over 25 years, delivering leadership, management, and coach development. In addition to his own athletic career comprising of four Olympic appearances and including three Olympic medals, Bo has worked for many years with coaches and athletes from over 40 different sports across the globe. Bo was also the winner of the Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) 2023 Award for L&D Professional of the Year, for his dedication to L&D and transformational work across various industries.

After a successful career in sport including four Olympics and three Olympic Medals, Bo co-founded and developed Athlete Assessments in 2007. Bo now focuses on working with clients to achieve their own success on and off ‘the field’, and has attained an unmatched track-record in doing exactly this.

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BoRowing-Atlanta Olympics

Now, watch us interrupt him for a round of quick fire questions.