Head of the class
North Dakota Athletics tops Big Sky in NCAA Public Recognition for fourth year in a row
UND Fighting Hawks student-athletes continue to lead their Big Sky Conference peers in the classroom as much as they do on the field.
The University of North Dakota had a Big Sky Conference-leading four teams receive NCAA Public Recognition Awards for their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR) on Wednesday, marking the fourth consecutive year in which UND has led the conference.
North Dakota’s four teams that received public recognition for the 2016-17 academic year included men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s golf, and men’s track & field. UND has now earned similar recognition 21 times across nine different sports since 2010.
The Public Recognition Awards are given each year to teams with APRs that rank among the top 10-percent nationally in their respective sport. The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in each sport. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years.
“While the APR is a measurement that is not as commonly used as grade-point average or graduation rate, it is a measurement of retention and academic eligibility. It’s a measurement that is a testament to our student-athletes and their dedication to achieving academic success and earning a degree, and to our coaches for ensuring that remains a priority. They all deserve this recognition,” said Amanda Hajdu, UND’s Assistant Athletics Director for Academic Services.
The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams nationally. Teams must meet a certain academic threshold to qualify for the postseason, and they also can face penalties for continued low academic performance.
The public recognition is part of the NCAA’s overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sport.
The scores required to be in the top 10 ranged from 984 to a perfect 1,000, depending on the sport. The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in each sport.