EDWARDSVILLE — Southern Illinois University Edwardsville student-athletes continue to graduate at a higher rate than their peers around the nation as well as their peers on campus.
The NCAA announced the latest data about student-athlete success in the classroom Thursday. SIUE student-athletes earned high marks.
The SIUE graduation rate for freshmen who entered SIUE during the 2005-2006 school year is 70 percent which is higher than the rest of the SIUE student body which stands at 52 percent. Further, the Student-Athlete Academic Success rate for SIUE is 82 percent. The graduation rate for all-student athletes nationally is 65 percent.
"Our commitment to excellence begins in the classroom, continues on the playing field, and is not complete until student-athletes earn their degrees," said SIUE Director of Athletics Brad Hewitt. "We have made a considerable investment in making certain that our student-athletes have the resources needed to graduate on time."
SIUE, which is in its first year as a full-fledged NCAA Division I member, is part of the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report for men's soccer and softball. Those sports were fast tracked two years in advance of the rest of SIUE's sports.
The data from men's soccer and softball also shows that SIUE student-athletes are ahead of the curve.
For men's soccer, the GSR nationally is 79 percent while SIUE's rate is 85 percent, the second best among Missouri Valley Conference schools. For softball, the GSR nationally is 86 percent while SIUE's rate is strong at 94 percent, the fourth best in the Ohio Valley Conference.
The GSR assesses student success of Division I student-athletes who graduate within a six-year period of first attending an institution. Adjustments are made for transfer students, non-scholarship students, mid-year enrollees, and those who have left an institution before exhausting initial eligibility.
The NCAA developed the GSR nearly a decade ago as part of its academic reform initiative to assess student-athlete academic success. Complete GSR data will be available for all 16 of SIUE's sports in next year's NCAA report.
"Timely graduation is a focal point of the mission for SIUE athletics. The University's support structure continues to reinforce the exceptional achievements of our student-athletes in the classroom," said Hewitt.