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SWU earns NCAA Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence

SWU earns NCAA Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence

    12.04.20 | Athletics by Holly Richardson

    Forty-two Division II member schools are recipients of the Presidents' Award for Academic Excellence, presented to member schools earning an Academic Success Rate of 90% or higher. The Academic Success Rate is the percentage of student-athletes who graduate within six years of initial collegiate enrollment and includes virtually all Division II student-athletes.

    Assistant Athletics Director for Academic Success and Community Engagement Emily Germain breaks down the award below and shines light on the work that has been put in by student-athletes, coaches, faculty, and support staff in the Warrior community to make this possible for our institution. 

    Morning weights, quick shower, class, lab, study hall, practice, rehab, work, homework… repeat. Many don't realize the daily demands of being a student and an athlete. The NCAA Division II model emphasizes the balance between academics and athletics, and while this balance allows DII student-athletes the time to be involved in a wide array of collegiate experiences, it often means they live very busy lives. This is why an award like the Presidents' Award for Academic Excellence is even more meaningful. This award is based on an institution's Academic Success Rate which is the six-year graduation rate for all athletes (Scholarship and Non-Scholarship). The award is presented to schools who have an ASR of 90% or higher. This year the ASR for Warrior Athletics was an impressive 91% (up from 89% last year) making SWU one of only 42 NCAA-D2 schools to receive this award!

    While it is obvious that an award like this is achieved through hard work in the classroom, like all success, it also represents a team effort across the department and the university. SWU student athletes graduate at a 91% success rate because they are surrounded by coaches who regularly monitor their academic progress and hold them accountable for assignments, attendance, and academic effort. They graduate at a 91% success rate because they are mentored and encouraged by faculty and advisors who see them as more than just students, but as the next generation of servant leaders. They graduate at a 91% success rate because of support staff who provide study hall, tutoring, and structure to teach them what academic success looks like. Finally, they graduate at a 91% success rate because Southern Wesleyan Student athletes are gritty, passionate and committed to excellence. For some, excellence means fighting for every last point to maintain that 4.0 and make the dean's list. For others, excellence means battling with difficult material to scratch out a C because school has always been hard for them. Regardless of how excellence is defined, it is clear that it is not achieved in isolation.

    So while this award certainly celebrates the academic success of our student athletes, let us be clear, this award is a SWU award. The collective effort of coaches, faculty, support staff and our amazing student athletes means that for the first time ever SWU is a part of an elite group of institutions who are committed to both academic and athletic excellence. Go Warriors!

    Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. Click here to visit the SWU Athletics webpage.

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