N.C. A&T ATHLETICS RECEIVES NCAA GRANT

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at North Carolina A&T State University has been awarded a multiyear, comprehensive grant through the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Accelerating Academic Success Program in the amount of $277,284 to be distributed in three annual installments beginning in 2015.

N.C. A&T’s department of athletics has made tremendous strides in improving the institution’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores despite having limited resources. A part of the A&T’s success story has been the football team’s APR scores, which have gone from a multiyear score of 829 in 2008-09 to a 934 in 2013-14. The football team’s single-year score was 958 in 2013-14.

The Aggies women’s tennis, women’s basketball, swimming, volleyball and bowling teams all received the top score of 1000 in 2013-14.

“North Carolina A&T State University has been committed to increasing our student-athlete academic success,” said Earl M. Hilton III, director of athletics. “Our progress to date can be attributed to a chancellor in Dr. Harold L. Martin, who is dedicated to achieving academic success throughout the university, and a dedicated team that includes faculty athletic representative Dr. Gwendolyn Hightower-Smith, senior woman administrator Katreshia Louis-Verrett, our coaches and their respective staffs, student-athletes, our compliance staff and our friends in the Student-Athlete Academic Enhancement Program.”

Implemented in 2003 as part of an ambitious academic reform effort in Division I, the APR holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete for each academic term. Similar to a report card, every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year. Scholarship student-athletes each semester earn one point for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating. In order to compete in the 2015-16 postseason, teams must achieve a 930 multi-year APR.

The APR system includes rewards for superior academic performance and penalties for teams that do not achieve certain academic benchmarks.

A&T current sponsors 16 sports – women’s and men’s basketball, women’s and men’s cross country, women’s and men’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s outdoor track field, women’s and men’s tennis, football, volleyball, bowling swimming, softball, baseball. Women’s golf is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2016 with men’s golf to follow in 2017 and women’s soccer is scheduled to be added in 2020.