The University of the Sciences was one of twenty-four NCAA Division II schools recognized as recipients of the first Division II Presidents' Award for Academic Excellence honoring athletics programs with four-year Academic Success Rates of 90 percent or more.
The University of the Sciences achieved the second highest four-year ASR in the country, graduating 98 percent of its student-athletes within six years of original enrollment. The Devils were one of four schools from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference to be recognized with this prestigious honor.
The Division II Academic Requirements Committee established the Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence to recognize programs achieving long-term academic success. The honor is intended to call attention to those programs and is not intended as a ranking.
The Division II Academic Success Rate measures graduation rates for virtually all Division II student-athletes, including transfers and those not receiving athletically related financial aid. Active and provisional member institutions when the data were submitted for 2010-11 were eligible for the Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence. The four-year ASR measured the entering cohorts from 2001 to 2004, inclusive.
"I am very pleased to offer congratulations to our student-athletes for being honored with the Division II Presidents Award for Academic Excellence," said USciences Interim President Marvin Samson. "We are extremely proud of our student-athletes who are gifted both academically and athletically. They are wonderful examples of the NCAA DII’s philosophy of "Life in Balance" and USciences’ mission to educate our students to become the “leaders and innovators” of the future. They are truly the epitome of future leaders in healthcare and the sciences."
The University of the Sciences had eight of their 11 athletic programs individually produce an Academic Success Rate of 100% for the cohort years 2001- 2004. This included every woman’s program (cross country, basketball, softball, volleyball and tennis) along with men's basketball, men's tennis and mixed rifle. The women's rifle team, the Devils 12th and newest program, was formed in 2005-06 and not included in the ASR report.
"The Presidents Council commends all of these programs for this outstanding accomplishment," said Pat O’Brien, president of West Texas A&M University and chair of the Division II Presidents Council. "Achieving a 90 percent graduation rate over even one year is an impressive accomplishment. To do it over four years says so much about the commitment that these schools have to the academic success of their student-athletes."
The Division II Academic Success Rate captures about two-third more student-athletes than the federal graduation rate, which does not count incoming transfers, counts outgoing transfers as having not graduated and counts only student-athletes receiving athletically related financial aid. The national four-year ASR average is 72 percent.
Regardless of the measure, Division II student-athletes graduate at a higher rate than the general student body. The federal rate for the 2004 entering class of student-athletes was 55 percent, compared to 49 percent for the general student body.