Tech student-athletes earn second-highest graduation success rates among all state public universiti

Tech student-athletes received high marks in the 2011 Graduation Success Rate Report released Tuesday by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Tech student-athletes earned a combined GSR of 78, which ranks as the second-highest mark among all of Tennessee’s public universities. The grade for TTU is up one point from last year, when TTU had the highest mark among Tennessee public universities.

In addition, Tech’s student-athletes continue to graduate at a higher rate than the general student body

Annually among the national standard bearers in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate report – which measures eligibility and retention – Tennessee Tech also ranks among the nation’s best in GSR.

“This most recent GSR report continues to be good news for Tennessee Tech Athletics, one that we can take a great deal of pride in,” said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics. “It verifies in numbers that we are successfully fulfilling our mission of graduating our student-athletes.

“The results of this most recent NCAA report speaks to the diligence of our student-athletes,” Wilson said. “Our students are coming in better prepared when they enter Tennessee Tech, and they are staying on track to earn their degrees.”

Four Tech programs – tennis, volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball – not only ranked among the nation’s best, they paced the Ohio Valley Conference in GSR within their respective sports.

Two of those teams – tennis and volleyball – recorded perfect GSR scores of 100, including a third consecutive year with a perfect score for coach John Blair’s volleyball team.

The latest GSR report reflects several others positive recent trends by Tech’s student-athletes, including the upward growth of the total numbers on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and the record-breaking combined grade point average by Golden Eagle student-athletes.

During the past year, Tech’s student-athletes have posted the highest combined GPA ever achieved at the University, earned a combined 3.0 GPA six times in the last seven semesters, and filled the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll with more than 200 in four of the past five semesters.

“These kinds of numbers continue to point out that our student-athletes and our staff continue to take seriously our goal of stressing the importance of academic success,” Wilson said. “This latest GSR is another gauge in how we’re doing, and it says we’re doing well. Our coaches, our academic support system and personnel, and our student-athletes are doing a good job.”

The history of Tennessee Tech Athletics has typically shown a higher graduation rate for student-athletes than the general student body, and the GSR is a national report that supports that trend.

“If you layer the GSR on top of the statewide graduation rates, we can say that Tennessee Tech is among the leaders in the state for graduating our student-athletes,” Wilson pointed out.

Tech’s numbers are part of a national trend. According to the NCAA report, all Division I student-athletes combined achieved the highest marks ever for graduation. The single-year GSR for student-athletes who began college in 2004 is 82 percent, a new high for the NCAA.