CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) recently announced the recipients of its Academic Progress Rate (APR) Awards and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) is among the universities receiving national recognition.
The APR Award recognizes one institution at each of the 13 FCS conferences that has improved the most from the previous year. Awards are also given to one institution from each FCS conference for attaining the highest APR. The UAPB athletics program, for the first time ever, received the most improved APR award for the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
“Getting such high recognition on the national level is a great honor for our athletics program and for the University as a whole,” said Director of Athletics Lonza Hardy Jr. “This is verification of the fact that the student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators at UAPB remain cognizant of the chief goals of our students, which are getting a quality education and earning degrees in fields which will lead to successful careers upon graduation. Our student-athletes are pacesetters among their peers on our campus.”
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) adopted a comprehensive academic reform package years ago that is designed to improve the academic success and graduation of all student-athletes. The centerpiece of the package is the academic measurement for teams, known as the APR.
Four years ago, 10 of UAPB’s 16 teams were in APR jeopardy, meaning they were facing challenges meeting the NCAA’s benchmark APR score of 930. Today, none of UAPB’s teams are facing any of the APR program’s penalties, which include post-season bans. UAPB’s student-athletes are graduating at a pace more than double that of the general student population and 14 of the program’s 16 teams have team grade point averages of 3.0 or higher. Hardy says this marked turnaround can be attributed to a campus-wide commitment to ensuring the success of all students that matriculate at the University.
“It’s a concerted effort on the part of everyone at the University, from the Chancellor’s Office on down,” says Hardy. “’Student-Focused and Success-Driven’ is the motto of UAPB. But that is not just our motto – it is our passion.”
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