THIBODAUX – Graduation rates of student-athletes at Nicholls State University continue to improve, according to a report issued Tuesday, Oct. 14, by the National Association of Collegiate Athletics. Colonel athletes graduate at a rate of 59 percent-a three-percent increase from last year.
“We are pleased that our teams continue to improve academically,” said Rob Bernardi, Nicholls athletics director. “Earning a college degree has always been the most important goal of our department; it has been a consistent message to our student athletes.”
The NCAA Graduation Success Rate was developed in response to college and university presidents who requested graduation data that more accurately reflected the mobility among today’s college students. The rate improves on the federally mandated graduation rate by including students who were omitted from the federal calculation.
Under the federal methodology, a student athlete who transfers from one Division I college to another is treated as a non-graduate at the first institution and is ignored in the calculation at the second, even if he or she graduates. The Graduation Success Rate tracks transfer students and provides a more comprehensive measure of student athletes’ graduation rates.
The Graduation Success Rate, coupled with the Academic Progress Rate, is part of an overall academic reform movement initiated in 2003 at the request of NCAA member presidents. The reform package includes penalties for institutions whose sports teams fail to make academic progress and improve graduation rates. Penalties become progressive to a point at which an institution may be subject to suspension from membership in the NCAA.
Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president, said the NCAA report “is a positive sign for us in terms of the overall academic performance of our student athletes. It is another positive step towards the continued improvement of the academic quality of Nicholls students.”