Taylor Akana is one of several student athletes excelling on the court and in the classroom
Oct. 24, 2013
For the ninth straight year, Siena student athletes out-performed their Division I peers in the classroom by a wide margin. Using the most recent data released Thursday in the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report, student athletes who entered Siena as freshmen in 2006 graduated from college at a 93% clip, the eighth highest rate in the nation.
Siena has ranked in the top-10 percent of Division I institutions in all nine GSR reports, and is one of just 21 schools with a GSR of 93% or above in each report. The 98% GSR attained in the 2011 report represented Siena's best GSR.
"It is exciting to see our student athletes continue to graduate at one of the best rates in the country," director of athletics John D'Argenio said. "What is more significant is the consistency with which they have done that. The students achieve the success, but it starts with our coaches, working in tandem with the College's admissions office, recruiting young men and women who want to graduate."
The NCAA also reported Graduation Success Rate by conference. Siena's Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) ranked third of 31 Division I conferences in overall Graduation Success Rate using the most recent information released. Siena's 93% GSR trailed only Fairfield (97%) among the 11 current league members.
"The GSRs of the colleges and universities in the MAAC demonstrates the Conference's commitment to student athletes," said Siena College President Fr. Kevin Mullen '75, O.F.M., Ph.D. "The MAAC has attracted student athletes who understand the importance of developing both their academic and athletic abilities. It is delightful to watch these young people succeed and Siena College is proud to be part of an athletic conference that places a priority on academics. Siena College has consistently maintained a high Graduation Success Rate amongst its student athletes. I am happy to watch these students excel as they develop skills that will prepare them for successful careers and full lives long after their playing days are over. While Siena is among the nation's leaders in Graduation Success Rate, the College is committed to continuing to improve every year."
Thursday's report gives graduation information for students and student athletes who entered college in 2006, the most recent class for which the required six years of information is available. It also breaks down the GSR by sport, using a four-year class average (2003-2006) called a cohort rate to provide a big enough sample.
Siena in the GSR
2013 (students who entered College in 2006): 93%
2012 (students who entered College in 2005): 95%
2011 (students who entered College in 2004): 98%
2010 (students who entered College in 2003): 95%
2009 (students who entered College in 2002): 95%
2008 (students who entered College in 2001): 94%
2007 (students who entered College in 2000): 93%
2006 (students who entered College in 1999): 97%
2005 (students who entered College in 1998): 96%
Note: 2005 was initial report
Twelve of Siena's Division I sports posted perfect 100% cohort GSRs, and 16 of the 18 out-performed the cohort national average. Siena sports that achieved perfect cohort GSRs were: men's cross country, men's golf, men's tennis, women's cross country, field hockey, women's golf, women's soccer, softball, swimming and diving, women's tennis, volleyball and water polo.
"I am pleased to see that Siena College has once again emerged as a leader in student athlete Graduation Success Rate," said Siena College Vice President for Academic Affairs Linda Richardson, Ph.D. "It is an accomplishment that speaks to the commitment and dedication our student athletes demonstrate both on the field of play and in the classroom. At Siena College, our mission is to provide all of our students, including those who participate in Division I athletics, with an educational experience that will be valued long after they graduate. Siena's student athletes live the College's mission by achieving academically and getting involved in service activities beyond the classroom."
Siena's basketball programs surpassed the cohort GSR national average by a large margin. The men's basketball program posted an 80% cohort GSR according to the report, 10 percentage points higher than the national average of 70%. The women's basketball program registered a 93% cohort GSR compared to the national average of 85%.
The MAAC ranked first nationally in women's basketball GSR, second in baseball and fifth in men's basketball.
The NCAA developed the GSR nine years ago because the Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) does not credit institutions with student athletes who leave in good academic standing and go on to graduate, or transfers into the school who graduate.
Thursday's report also included the most recent FGR data. Using the cohort FGR rate, Siena student athletes checked in at 74%, one percentage point lower than the rate attained by Siena's general student population (75%), and nine percentage points higher than the national student athlete average (65%).
The FGR is based on a comparison of the number of students who entered a college or university and the number of those who graduated within six years. For example, for every 100 Siena student athletes entering school from 2003-06, 74 graduate from Siena within six years.
"More student athletes than ever before are earning their college degrees, and we are gratified to see our reform efforts impact the lives of those we serve," NCAA President Mark Emmert said. "We have even higher expectations for the future, but we are proud of the progress we have made."