Nine perfect team scores headline several academic highlights for the University of Tennessee and its more than 500 student-athletes in 2014-15 Academic Progress Rate (APR) data released Wednesday by the NCAA.
UT’s baseball, men’s cross country, men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis and women’s track and field programs each earned perfect 1000 single-year APRs for the 2014-15 academic year.
In the Eligibility/Graduation component of the APR figures, 16 Tennessee teams scored a perfect 1000 for the 2014-15 single academic year, and eight teams boast a perfect 1000 score in the multi-year Eligibility/Graduation component.
“Our student-athletes continue to perform at a very impressive level academically,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart said.” They are breaking their own records annually over the past few years in virtually every measurable academic category such as APR and graduation rates.
“This level of high academic performance is a testimony to our student-athletes being students first as well as the emphasis on academics from our coaches, faculty, administration and the staff at our Thornton Center under the direction of (Senior Associate Athletics Director & Assistant Provost) Dr. Joe Scogin.”
In the multi-year rate, 13 UT teams tied or increased their score from last year. That includes all eight of the men’s teams along with women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s swimming and diving and women’s tennis.
“APR scores often give a glimpse of the culture of a department,” Scogin said. “There are great things going on in Tennessee Athletics, and I am so proud of our student-athletes’ commitment to excellence in all aspects of their experience at UT.”
Thirteen of Tennessee’s 18 teams—the NCAA this year combined indoor and outdoor track for APR purposes—posted a multi-year APR higher than the national average for that respective sport, and 13 of 18 teams also outperformed the national average per 2014-15 single-year data.
Since losing 60 total APR points in the 2011-12 data, Tennessee’s total points lost have decreased steadily. UT lost 41 points in 2012-13, 22 in 2013-14 and just 19 points in Wednesday’s most recent release.
Additional sport-specific, multi-year APR highlights for Tennessee athletic programs include:
- Baseball (965) is up 11 points from last year and 29 points from two years ago, when it was at 936.
- Men’s cross country (984) is up 17 points from last year and 35 points from two years ago.
- Football (956) is up 11 points over last year, 24 points from two years ago and up 32 points from three years ago.
- Men’s golf (993) is up seven points over last year and 21 points from two years ago.
- Men’s tennis (991) posted a 19-point improvement from last year.
- Men’s track and field (989, now combined) has made significant strides from three years ago when both Indoor and Outdoor were at 947 in the 2011-12 release. Two years ago, men’s indoor was at 960 and men’s outdoor was at 961, while both indoor and outdoor were at 983 last year.
- Women’s track and field (1000, now combined) scored a perfect 1000, which is an increase over the already impressive 995 that both women’s indoor and women’s outdoor earned each of the last two years.
Wednesday’s multi-year APR data includes cohort years 2014-15, 2013-14, 2012-13 and 2011-12.
The Thornton Athletics Student Life Center, led by Dr. Joe Scogin, was created to provide student-athletes with academic support programs and assist with both personal and career development. A comprehensive evaluation of Thornton Center operations upon Scogin’s arrival has provided for greater effectiveness and a stronger impact on the academic success of all Tennessee student-athletes.
The academic progress towards degree requirements require a student-athlete to complete various percentages toward degree completion, specific grade-point averages and other requirements to remain eligible to compete. Assisting student-athletes in meeting these requirements is a critical function of the Thornton Center, as is calculating and forecasting APR scores.
The University also encourages former student-athletes who left in good standing to return to school to achieve their degree. The SouthEast Bank Renewing Academic Commitment (RAC) Program works with former student-athletes by assisting them with advice on degree requirements remaining, course scheduling, tutoring, employment and internship opportunities offered through the Career Development and Life Skills department, and use of the Thornton Center for their everyday needs.
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