Every one of Western Kentucky University's 19 athletic teams has exceeded the NCAA's mandated 925 Academic Progress Rate (APR) score, the NCAA announced today. WKU joined Denver, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, and Troy as one of five Sun Belt Conference institutions to have each of its sports teams exceed a 925 APR.
WKU's women's golf (1,000 APR) and women's volleyball (995 APR) teams posted two of the six APR scores of 995+ registered from all sports in the state of Kentucky, joining the University of Kentucky (two), Morehead State (one) and Murray State (one) with that distinctive claim.
"This is a very significant and meaningful accomplishment," Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork said. "It validates that those who wear 'WKU' on the uniform are truly student-athletes and that we are providing the proper resources and support for them to succeed. It proves our student-athletes in each sport are focused and dedicated to succeeding in the classroom, and our coaches and academic support staff should also be commended for the priority they place on academics and the support structure they provide. Our 26 Sun Belt conference championships over the last three seasons are the most in the nation, and it is very gratifying to know our success results from the contributions of true student-athletes and there is a perfect blend of academic and athletic success here at WKU."
The NCAA released the Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores Wednesday of all NCAA Division I sports teams. The most recent APR scores are multi-year rates based on the scores from the 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years.
The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.
WKU student-athletes in the university's 19 sports are majoring in 76 different programs. Nine of the university's 15 athletic programs have a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or better, and women's track and field (representing cross country, indoor track and outdoor track) has a 2.99 cumulative GPA.
Following the just completed spring semester of the 2009-10 school year, the overall cumulative average GPA for WKU's 412 student-athletes is 2.95, and 207 student-athletes (50.2%) are maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. A total of 48 student-athletes (11.7%) had a 4.0 GPA for the spring 2010 semester.
WKU has had more individuals honored for their academic achievements by the Sun Belt Conference than any other league institution in each of the last five years, and 85% of WKU student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility this decade have graduated.