University of Southern California

Student-Athlete Academic Services

Dr. Cory Buckner


Dr. Cory Buckner came to USC in May of 2011.  Within SAAS, Dr. Buckner wears many hats, but his primary roles encompass training, empowering, supporting, and equipping SAAS academic support staff (Tutors, Learning Assistants, and Assistant Learning Specialists) with the tools necessary to support the academic needs of USC student-athletes.  Specifically, within the SAAS Academic Support unit, Dr. Buckner supervises both the Tutorial program and Assistant Learning Specialist Program.  In addition to his supervisory roles, he manages a small caseload of student-athletes providing one-on-one individualized instruction.  Dr. Buckner incorporates motivational techniques such as utility/expectancy value awareness, goal setting/goal getting training, and self-authorship development in an effort to achieve the goals of developing self-regulated learners and ultimately well-rounded individuals prepared for graduation and life after sport. Dr. Buckner also has worked closely in supporting USC’s former student-athletes who return to the university to complete their degree. Dr. Buckner’s dissertation is entitled “Exploring the Academic Success of Black Male Former Student-Athletes and their Experiences with Academic Support upon Re-entry to College”.

Prior to transitioning to his current role, Dr. Buckner served as the academic counselor for the Trojans men’s basketball team where he oversaw and led the academic support and student development initiatives.

Dr. Buckner came to USC after serving 2 years at The University Louisville as the Interim Director for Football Academics as well as the academic counselor for football. During Dr. Buckner’s tenure at Louisville, he helped the football team achieve the highest number of student-athletes over a 3.0 GPA in documented history. Prior to his time at The University Louisville, Dr. Buckner spent two years working at Tennessee State University as an academic counselor for all sports overseeing the study hall program, monitoring initial and continuing eligibility, and conducting weekly academic meetings with at-risk student-athletes across all sports.

In addition to his doctorate from USC, Dr. Buckner is a proud Hoosier alumnus, earning both his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Indiana University.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Dr. Buckner is a member of The National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A), as well as Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated.


Fun Facts about Cory:

Why did you choose USC?
–It’s no secret that USC is a world-class institution of higher learning that promotes the development of students from a holistic approach-mind, body, and spirit.  This was a one of a kind opportunity to work and develop professionally in an athletic department that breed’s success starting in the classroom.

Favorite Movie
– When Harry Met Sally

Favorite Food
– Italian Food

Favorite Quote
– Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive”.  -Howard Thurman

Role Model
– Parents – Quinn and Rhonda Buckner

Favorite Musical Performer
– Stevie Wonder

Favorite Book
– The Book of Joy- His Holiness the Dali Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

– Reading, leisure writing, morning walks with coffee, and spending time with family and friends.

Contact Information:
Office: (213) 740-2018