JONESBORO, Ark. (News release) – The Arkansas State Athletics Department has set new school records for both its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and federal graduation rate, according to the latest data announced Wednesday by the NCAA national office.
The Red Wolves posted a department-wide 83 percent GSR, topping its previous high of 79 percent set just last year. A-State’s most recent percentage was also tied for the third highest in the Sun Belt, matching both 2011 and 2012 for its best ever ranking among its conference peers.
Arkansas State’s federal graduation rate of 60 percent was one point higher than its previous record set in 2011. Eleven of A-State’s 12 teams comprising its 16 NCAA sports raised either one or both of their GSR or federal-rate percentages over last year’s data.
“We continue to strive to improve ourselves every day in the classroom and on the playing surfaces,” said A-State Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir. “This is strong evidence that our students are working extremely hard to achieve their academic goals. I am extremely proud of our coaches and academics staff for emphasizing the athletics department’s desire for our students to graduate and be prepared to succeed professionally.”
The Division I Board of Directors created the GSR in response to Division I college and university presidents who wanted data that more accurately reflected the mobility of college students than the federal graduation rate. The federal rate counts any student who leaves a school as an academic failure, no matter whether he or she enrolls at another school. Also, the federal rate does not recognize students who enter school as transfer students.
The GSR formula removes from the rate student-athletes who leave school while academically eligible and includes student-athletes who transfer to a school after initially enrolling elsewhere. This calculation makes it a more complete and accurate look at student-athlete success.
Seven A-State teams produced a higher GSR than the national Division I average for each respective program. Including women’s tennis, volleyball and women’s bowling, the Red Wolves had a school-record three programs post a perfect 100 GSR. Additionally, men’s golf (92) and women’s basketball (92) were over a 90 percent success rate.
Breaking or tying individual program records for the highest GSR in school history were six programs, including volleyball, women’s tennis, women’s bowling, women’s basketball, men’s basketball (89) and football (76). The women’s tennis team has now recorded a perfect 100-percent rate every single year of the GSR’s existence.
Men’s basketball, women’s basketball and women’s bowling have posted the highest two rates for their respective sports each of the last two years, while football’s rates the last two years both rank among the top three in the program’s history.
“I could not be more pleased with these results,” said Dr. Abby Wilson, A-State Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student Services. “The amount of hour’s student-athletes and the academic support staff put into academics and athletics is paying off, and we are reaching our goals together.”
The Red Wolves have seen their academic performance reach an all-time high during record-setting 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 fall semesters, which saw student-athletes achieve the best four ever all-department GPA’s in consecutive years.
A-State also posted a school-record 3.070 all-department GPA for the entire 2016-17 academic year while placing an all-time-high 216 student-athletes on the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll. Additionally, the Red Wolves earned their best ever APR score each of the last two years.
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