The University of Tennessee announced academic progress rates (APR) for its athletics teams on Wednesday, including three programs that received APR Public Recognition Awards for posting a multi-year APR score in the top 10 percent in their sports nationally: Women’s Basketball, Women’s Golf, and Women’s Tennis. The golf and tennis programs earned this distinction for the third consecutive year, while basketball received the honor for the second consecutive year.
The Academic Progress Rate, now in its eighth year, measures the eligibility and retention 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 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 academic years.
The APR is based on each student-athlete, having the 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 multi-year 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.
UT's multi-year academic progress rates for individual sports were:
Cross Country 936
Swimming & Diving 984
Indoor Track & Field 943
Outdoor Track & Field 944
Cross Country 994
Swimming & Diving 982
Indoor Track & Field 990
Outdoor Track & Field 990
Of paramount importance to the University of Tennessee athletic programs is the goal of graduating student-athletes and preparing 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 academic progress towards degree requirements require a student-athlete to complete various percentages toward degree requirements, specific grade point averages, and other requirements to remain eligible to compete. Assisting student-athletes in meeting these requirements is a vital function of the Thornton Center even more critical.
Additionally, The University encourages former student-athletes who left in good standing to return to school 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 Career Development and Life Skills department, and use of the Thornton Center for their everyday needs.
The following are a few notes on the academic success of Tennessee's student-athletes:
• During the 2011-2012 school year, 71 current and former Vols and Lady Vols graduated from the University of Tennessee, continuing Tennessee athletics' tradition of commitment to the classroom, including 51 in Spring 2012.
• A total of 29 University of Tennessee student-athletes earned a 4.0 grade-point average in Spring 2012, while 76 percent earned a 2.5 or higher, 56 percent earned a 3.0 or higher, and 26 percent were at or above the 3.5 threshold.
• More than 70 former student-athletes have returned to earn their bachelor's degree through the RAC program.