Date of Award

August 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Member

Jasmine Townsend

Committee Member

Brandi Crowe

Committee Member

Daniel Anderson


The purpose of this study was to explore intercollegiate adaptive athletics program structures in the United States. As athletics programs can be seen as open systems, an open systems model of sport organizations was used to guide the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven participants associated with intercollegiate adaptive athletics programs. A qualitative description design was used to gain a foundational understanding of program structures based on the programs’ environments, inputs, processes, and outputs. Findings suggest intercollegiate adaptive athletics program structures are highly varied and complex open systems that are closely intertwined with their environments and have observable inputs, processes, and outputs. This study offers foundational knowledge about existing program structures and indicates that intercollegiate adaptive athletics programs can be understood as open systems. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.



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