Assoc. News Editor
Student-athletes at Millersville University have multiple talents. While MU student-athletes obviously possess athletic talent, they are also talented academically. According to recently released data from NCAA, MU student-athletes rank No.1 in Academic success rate (ASR) out of 16 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) members. Anthony Grant Ph. D., the Associate Director of Athletics said, “Here at Millersville, we have always had a long tradition of academic excellence within our student-athlete population.”
As the Associate Director of Athletics, Grant works closely with student-athletes and coaches to develop and implement programs to support student-athletes academically. Grant is also responsible for creating and improving the NCAA Student-Athlete Development curriculum, which focuses on all physical and mental aspects of educational programing for student-athletes.
The statistics show that Millersville University, with an ASR of 86 percent among freshman from 2002-2005, was one of only eight schools in the PSAC to top an ASR of 80 percent in that category. Millersville’s woman’s cross country, woman’s track and field, field hockey and woman’s tennis programs produced a 100 percent ASR.
The NCAA requires student athletes to to maintain a 1.8 after the first year, a .1 point increase in the the two following years, and a 2.0 average for each year thereafter. NCAA rules also require student-athletes to earn 24 credits in each academic year, and be enrolled full-time (12 credits) for each semester. The secret to student-athlete success in academics, however, might be hidden in the eligibility requirements at Millersville University.
As Grant explained, “The MU academic policy as in pertains to GPA, is more is more strict than the NCAA in that after the student-athlete’s first year, he/she is required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the conclusion of each semester in order to be eligible for practice and competition.”
The ASR is calculated using the a rolling average over four-years for all eligible freshman including transfers between 2002-2005, but removes athletes who stopped attending university while being eligible academically. The data from NCAA showed that total APR for Millersville University was only slightly higher than other schools in the PSAC. Millersville was first with 86 percent, followed by California 85 percent, and Slippery Rock 84 percent.
Despite the high ASR rating MU student-athletes received, Grant said, “Until the department GPA is a 4.0 and we achieve a 100 percent graduation rate, there is always room for improvement.” The other schools to reach the 80 percent mark are as followed, Mercyhurst 82 percent, Lock Haven 81 percent, Bloomsburg 80 percent, East Stroudsburg 80 percent, and West Chester 80 percent. The study also showed that the PSAC scored above national average in many sports including football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s CC/track, women’s CC/track, and baseball.
The ASR average for PSAC landed the division in fourth place among Division II schools. The ASR was created by the NCAA seven years ago at the request of colleges and university presidents who believed the Federal Graduation rate was flawed.