INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Four Cleveland State University athletic programs have received Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA, in an announcement made Tuesday. Cross country, women's basketball, women's golf and women's fencing each posted multiyear APR scores in the top 10 percent of all NCAA teams in their respective sports.
"We are very proud these four programs for their terrific achievement in APR," said Director of Athletics Scott Garrett. "Our coaches and academic support staff have done a tremendous job providing the platform for our student-athletes to transform themselves at Cleveland State University. We are lucky to have some extremely highly-motivated student-athletes who are taking advantage of their opportunities to excel in competition, in the community, and most importantly in the classroom."
The Cleveland State cross country team has garnered the Public Recognition Award in all 15 years of the program, one of 62 programs in the nation to accomplish such feat.
"The corner stone of the cross country program is academics," said head coach Jason Hudson. "Academics are stressed from day one of the recruiting process through graduation. The expectation is that we are excellent in the classroom and that excellence will also be present on the cross country course. It's a student-first focus that fits in with the holistic nature of the program. We recruit good students, who are good athletes and good people who will then go out and represent the program and the school in a positive manner once they graduate."
For the fourth-consecutive year, the women's basketball program has been recognized by the NCAA.
"As a program, we continue to strive for excellence in the classroom, making it a goal to enhance our academic performance year-after-year," said women's basketball head coach Chris Kielsmeier. "The level of success that our student-athletes have in the classroom translates directly to the court, which is something that we take pride in as a program. To be recognized nationally amongst our peers shows the dedication and commitment that our student-athletes have had over the last few years to their academics."
The women's golf team, led by first-year head coach Taylor Riggs, earned its second-straight honor, having earned the award for the 2017-18 academic year.
"I'm proud of our team for their work in the classroom and the success they have seen academically," said Riggs. "The way our student-athletes balance their class schedule, as well as practice and tournament schedules, is very impressive. I have to thank our academic advising staff, as well, as they are such an integral part of our success and assist in so many ways."
For the eighth time in program history, the women's fencing program has been recognized by the NCAA for posting multiyear APR scores in the top 10 percent. It's their first recognition since the 2013-14 academic year.
"The coaching staff and I are very pleased to see our women's team, again, recognized for academic excellence," head coach Andy Tulleners said. "Our ladies consistently apply themselves with the same level of commitment in the classroom as on the fencing piste. It continues to show through in their earning this recognition from the NCAA."
"These awards honor our student-athletes and their commitment to excellence in academics," said Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Robert Kleidman. "Cleveland State University and our Department of Athletics values and supports their continuous growth as students, athletes, and contributing members of the community."
The APR, created to be a more real-time measurement of academic success than graduation rates, is a team-based metric through which scholarship student-athletes each term earn one point for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating. Department-wide and team-specific ratings for the 2018-19 academic year will be released in the coming week.