Academic performance of Nicholls student athletes continues to exceed standard

THIBODAUX – For the second consecutive year, all of Nicholls State University’s 14 sports programs have performed above academic standard, according to information released today by the National Collegiate Athletic Association on the academic progress rates of nearly 6,300 Division I teams.

The APR is part of an academic reform package established by the NCAA several years ago – the goal of which is to improve classroom performance and graduate rates of student athletes by concentrating on athlete retention and eligibility.

Each academic year, all Division I sports teams calculate their APRs based on the eligibility, retention and graduation of each scholarship-holding student athlete. An APR of 925 translates to an NCAA graduation success rate of approximately 50 percent. Teams that score below 925 can lose up to 10 percent of their scholarships.

Every Nicholls team scored above 925 in 2010-11. Moreover, the APR scores for all 14 sports have trended upward, with baseball and women’s basketball showing the largest increases. The overall graduation rates for Nicholls student athletes continue to increase as well.

“I am proud at the collective effort of our coaches, academic staff and student athletes in moving the APR rate forward,” Rob Bernardi, director of athletics, said. “Clearly the quality and commitment of our student athletes is evident in the overall improvement in our APR score.”

Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president, said today’s NCAA report proves that Nicholls is on the right track academically.

“These scores exceed last year’s scores, which themselves were remarkable,” Hulbert said. “I commend our athletics staff, faculty and student athletes for their continued commitment to academic excellence.”

Actions taken by the Nicholls administration to ensure academic progress toward degree completion include the establishment of an APR Committee; placing athletic academic advising under the Division of Academic Affairs; hiring additional athletic academic advisors; increasing the recognition of student-athlete achievement in academics; and consistent monitoring of student athlete academic progress by the director of athletic academic services, the associate athletics director for compliance and the coaching staffs.

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