NCAA Releases Graduation Success Rate Data

MOUNT PLEASANT Eight Central Michigan University varsity athletics programs scored 80 percent or better in the most recent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data released by the NCAA today.

CMU’s field hockey program, led by head coach Cristy Freese, boasted a perfect 100 percent GSR. The wrestling program, under head coach Tom Borrelli, scored an 86 on the GSR; both the field hockey and wrestling programs were the highest scoring teams in their respective sports in the Mid-American Conference.

In all, eight of CMU’s varsity programs scored above 80 percent: women’s cross country/track and field, field hockey, gymnastics, women’s soccer, softball, volleyball, baseball and wrestling. CMU’s cumulative GSR as an athletics department, 80 percent, was higher than the national average of 78 percent. The CMU football program scored a 70 percent, three percent higher than the national average for Bowl Subdivision programs.

CMU’s athletics department has earned the MAC’s Institutional Academic Achievement Award 10 times in the last 11 years, and the student-athletes on campus boasted a record 3.122 cumulative grade-point average following the 2007-08 academic year. Of the Chippewas’ 16 varsity athletics programs, 13 claim a cumulative GPA of 3.10 or higher.

The women’s soccer program, which has posted the highest GPA of any Division I women’s soccer program in the country the past three years, leads CMU’s women’s programs with a 3.65 GPA. The men’s cross country program’s 3.23 GPA is the highest of any men’s program on campus.

For the Spring 2008 semester, 58 percent of CMU’s student-athletes qualified for the honor roll with a semester GPA of at least 3.0. Twenty-seven student-athletes earned a 4.0 GPA during the spring semester.

“The academic success within our department is a testament to our coaches and the types of individuals they recruit,” said Jason Holtman, associate athletics director for student-athlete development. “The ultimate goal of our program is for every student-athlete to leave here with a degree. Academic success is a priority that is supported by not only our administration and our coaches, but also our student-athletes who are taking care of business in the classroom.”

About the GSR
Graduation Success Rate scores released today are based on four classes of scholarship student-athletes who entered college from the fall of 1998 to the fall of 2001. The NCAA allows a six-year window in which student-athletes can earn their degree. Although GSR scores include student-athletes who transferred to CMU, the scores do not count student-athletes who transferred from CMU to another institution and were academically eligible at the time of their transfer.

The NCAA developed the GSR because the federal graduation rate does not credit institutions with student-athletes who leave in good academic standing or transfers into the school who later graduate.

Under the federal graduation rate, students who transfer to another institution are counted as non-graduates from their initial institution. At the same time, transfers who enter a new institution are not included in the federal calculation at all.

CMU’s federal graduation rate for the 1998-2001 classes was 67 percent, which was significantly higher than the CMU general student body graduation rate of 56 percent and higher than the Division I national average of 63 percent.

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