June 9, 2010
DeKALB, Ill. - All 17 of Northern Illinois University's intercollegiate athletic team have surpassed the academic standards measured by the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Academic Progress Rate for 2008-09, marking the fifth consecutive year that every NIU team has "made the grade". The NCAA released its complete 2008-09 Division I APR report Wednesday.
The Academic Progress Rate, which has become the primary tool used by the NCAA to judge academic progress, measures the eligibility, retention and graduation of student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team. It also serves as a predictor of graduation success. Each student-athlete earns one point for staying in school and one point for being academically eligible each term. A team's total points are divided by points possible and multiplied by 1,000 to equal the team's APR score. Teams whose multi-year rates fall below the minimum APR cut score of 925 set by the NCAA face possible sanctions ranging from scholarship reductions to more severe penalties. The 2010 APR report issued Wednesday is based on data from the 2005-06 through 2008-09 academic years.
"We are very pleased with these latest Academic Progress Rate numbers for Northern Illinois teams, and of the continuing record of academic success of our student-athletes," said NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher. "Measurements like the APR and the Graduation Success Rate, as well as the 10 straight 3.0 semesters posted by our student-athletes, give us a strong indication that we are succeeding in our mission of developing champions in the classroom."
In addition to surpassing the 925 (out of 1,000) score necessary to avoid sanctions, 13 of the Huskies' 17 programs improved or equaled their APR from 2009 to 2010. That included the NIU football team, which saw its APR improve from 947 in 2009 to 975 in this year's report, helped by a 997 mark for 2008-09. Women's cross country improved its APR 38 points, while women's indoor and outdoor track and field were both up 17 points and softball raised its academic progress rate by 11 points.
The football team's current APR of 975 ranks in the Top 20 percent of all Division I football teams and is well ahead of the 947 national average for all Football Bowl Subdivision schools. Women's gymnastics, which led all Northern Illinois teams with an APR of 995, women's soccer and women's golf (994 each) and women's volleyball (991) rank in the Top 20 percent of teams in the country in every sport.
The Huskies also have an indication of future APR success as 10 teams recorded perfect 1,000 APR scores for 2008-09, the latest year included in this year's report. Those scores also will be included in NIU's multi-year APR for the next three years.
"Graduating student-athletes and helping them succeed in the classroom has become a hallmark of NIU Athletics, due in large part to our phenomenal Student-Athlete Academic Support Services Unit, led by [Senior Associate Athletic Director] Francine St. Clair," Compher said. "Reports like these are also the result of hard work by our student-athletes, a commitment to their academic endeavors by our coaching staff and a strong network of support across the entire University."
The APR was developed by the NCAA to measure the academic performance of individual teams on a real-time basis by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. Not only does academic reform ensure accountability for student-athletes, teams and institutions, but it provides fairness by considering individual circumstances.
The NCAA released the complete APR reports for each school Wednesday, as well as the list of teams subject to penalties. That information is available on line at www.ncaa.org.
-- NIU --
Keep up with all the latest news and information, along with video and special features, read "Huskie Happenings" daily at www.NIUHuskies.com.