May 24, 2011
The University of Tennessee announced academic progress rates (APR) for its athletic teams on Tuesday, including three programs that received APR Public Recognition Awards for posting a score in the top 10 percent in their sport nationally: women's basketball, women's golf, and women's tennis. The golf and tennis programs earned this distinction for the second consecutive year.
Additionally, all Tennessee athletic programs are above the APR minimum threshold of 925, meaning that for the second consecutive year, there will be no penalties levied against any UT sports for failing to meet standards of academic progress.
The Academic Progress Rate, now in its seventh year, measures the eligibility, retention and graduation of scholarship student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team. It also serves as a predictor of graduation success. The most recent APR scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-10 academic years.
The APR is based on each student-athlete's opportunity to earn two points during each regular academic term of full-time enrollment (e.g., fall semester). One point is awarded if the student-athlete is academically eligible to compete the following regular academic term (or has graduated). The other point is awarded if the student-athlete returns to the institution as a full-time student the next regular academic term or graduates from the university. The APR is calculated by adding all points earned by student-athletes over the past four academic years and dividing that number by the total possible points that could have been earned. That number is then multiplied by 1,000.
When a team's academic performance, measured by that team's APR, falls below 925, that team becomes subject to penalties if any student-athlete on that team did not return to the institution as a full-time student and was not academically eligible when the student-athlete left the institution. This penalty is known as a contemporaneous penalty and potentially limits the amount of athletics aid that the team may award.
"Our APR scores are a compliment to the student-athletes and coaches and the commitment they have made to academic success," said Donna Thomas, senior associate athletic director and interim director of the Thornton Center. "Additionally, I appreciate the work and dedication of the Thornton Center staff."
UT's multi-year academic progress rates for individual sports were (most recent APR scores in right-hand column, compared with previous year's rates in left-hand column):
|Men's Sports||Multi-Year APR||Multi-Year APR|
|Swimming and Diving||972||975|
|Indoor Track and Field||928||932|
|Outdoor Track and Field||930||933|
|Women's Sports||Multi-Year APR||Multi-Year APR|
|Swimming and Diving||975||977|
|Indoor Track and Field||973||981|
|Outdoor Track and Field||973||981|
"Our student-athletes and coaches are aware of the high priority placed on a strong record of accomplishment in the classroom ," said Mike Hamilton, men's athletics director. "These APR results are indicative of the efforts of our student-athletes and coaches in combination with the valuable work by those in the Thornton Center in producing consistent academic success."
"Our student-athletes continue to produce great accomplishments in the classroom as well in athletic competition," said Joan Cronan, director of women's athletics. "The APR rates are a critical measure of how we were are succeeding in the classroom, and these numbers indicate that our strong track record continues."
A key focus for the University of Tennessee athletic programs is to graduate student-athletes and prepare them for real-world experiences. In 2001, the University of Tennessee opened the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center to provide student-athletes with superior academic support programs and personal and career development assistance.
Student-athletes must meet specific progress-towards-degree requirements throughout their academic careers. These requirements include percentage-toward-degree benchmarks, specific grade point averages, and other degree-credit standards. Assisting student-athletes in meeting these requirements is another vital function of the Thornton Center.
Additionally, the university encourages former athletes who left in good standing to return to the university to achieve their degree. The 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 CHAMPS/Life Skills Office, and use of the Thornton Center for their everyday needs.
Tennessee's student-athletes have achieved increasing academic success:
- During the 2010-2011 school year, 92 current and former Vols and Lady Vols graduated from the University of Tennessee, continuing Tennessee athletics' tradition of commitment to the classroom.
- Tennessee had 247 student-athletes who achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the spring of 2011.
- 18 former student-athletes have returned to earn their bachelor's degree through the RAC program since fall 2003.