KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UT Release) -- The University of Tennessee athletics department announced Thursday a graduation success rate (GSR) of 73 percent for student-athletes who entered the university from 2002-03 through 2005-06.
Two Tennessee teams reported a GSR of 100, women's basketball and volleyball, while six teams improved their rates from a year ago, including men’s basketball (from 40 to 55%), men’s golf (67 to 78%), women’s golf (71 to 83%), men’s tennis (57 to 63%), softball (88 to 90%), and women’s swimming and diving (90 to 92%). Four teams maintained their rates from a year ago, including women’s basketball (100%), rowing (88%), baseball (50%), and volleyball (100%).
“Academic accomplishment by our student-athletes is at the core of our pursuit of comprehensive excellence,” said Dave Hart, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics. “We will continue to focus on the development of our student-athletes both in the classroom and in athletic competition, and we appreciate their continued focus on our collective priorities.”
The GSR allows institutions to add scholarship transfer students that fit into their respective freshmen cohorts and remove those students that choose to leave and are academically eligible according to NCAA Progress-Toward-Degree Requirements.
UT also announced the student-athlete federal graduation rate for 2005-06 was 62 percent, tied with last year’s rate for the highest since the inception of the rate's measurement.
During the 2011-12 school year, 90 student-athletes graduated from the University of Tennessee, continuing Tennessee Athletics' commitment to excellence in the classroom. A total of 10 of those who have already received an undergraduate degree are competing for Tennessee during the 2012-13 school year.
A total of 55.6 percent of Tennessee student-athletes achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the spring of 2012, an increase over the 52.9 percent who did so in the previous spring. Additionally, 29 student-athletes earned a 4.0 GPA during the spring semester compared to 18 in the spring 2011 semester. The average GPA for student-athletes during the spring 2012 semester was 3.11, up from 2.93 a year ago.
Three student-athletes won NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships: diver Ryan Helms and track and field student-athletes Chanelle Price and Ellen Wortham. Tennessee was the only Division I school with as many as three honorees. Additionally, a total of 226 UT student-athletes were named to the 2011-12 SEC Honor Roll.
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.
The breakdown of the University of Tennessee's graduation success rates as compared to the federal rates for student-athletes who first enrolled at the University from 2002-05 are as follows:
Men's Cross Country/Track & Field
Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
Men's Swimming & Diving
Women's Swimming & Diving
The University encourages former student-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 remaining degree requirements, course scheduling, tutoring, employment and internship opportunities offered through the Life Skills Office, and use of the Thornton Center for their academic and career needs.
There are currently eight former student-athletes completing degree requirements through the RAC program, a program that has assisted 58 former student-athletes with completion of degrees in the past six years.