Stonehill Earns NCAA Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence

Skyhawks among 24 Division II institutions honored for having an Academic Success Rate over 90-percent

EASTON, Mass. (May 7, 2012) – Stonehill College, winner of the last two Northeast-10 Conference Presidents’ Cups for overall athletic achievement in Conference sports, is one of 24 NCAA Division II institutions to be recognized as recipients of the first Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence, honoring athletics programs with four year Academic Success Rates of 90-percent or more.

Stonehill, which ranks second nationally with a 98-percent Academic Success Rate (ASR) for the second-straight year, is one of five Northeast-10 Conference members to appear on the list, including Saint Michael’s College who leads the way with a 99% ASR. The NE-10 led all Division II Conferences, with the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference second with four.

"Our student athletes know that competitive athletics go hand in hand with academic quality and rigor,” said Rev. Mark T. Cregan, CSC, President of Stonehill College. “It is a team commitment with students, faculty and the coaching staff working in harmony to ensure success both in the classroom and on the playing fields and courts. That spirit is reflected in this award and in our outstanding 98 percent academic success rate for student-athletes at Stonehill.”

In addition to Stonehill’s overall ASR of 98%, ten of Stonehill’s 16 athletic programs (cross country and indoor and outdoor track & field are combined by the NCAA) received perfect scores of 100% as released by the NCAA earlier this year. Those programs include men’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s basketball, women’s cross country/track & field, field hockey, women’s lacrosse, softball, volleyball and equestrian. Of those programs, four reached their National Tournaments and nine participated in postseason play. All 16 of Stonehill’s programs had ASR’s well above the national average, with none below 95%, up two percent from a low of 93% last year.

“The Presidents Council commends all of these programs for this outstanding accomplishment,” said Pat O’Brien, president of West Texas A&M University and chair of the Division II Presidents Council. “Achieving a 90 percent graduation rate over even one year is an impressive accomplishment. To do it over four years says so much about the commitment that these schools have to the academic success of their student-athletes.”

Stonehill’s 98% ASR ranks second among NE-10 institutions behind just Saint Michael’s College for the second-straight year. Stonehill ranked fourth when the NCAA released the inaugural ASR rankings last year. The national average ASR in Division II was 84% - representing an 11 percent increase over 2009-10.

“This is a wonderful honor for Stonehill College, our student-athletes and our coaches,” said Brendan Sullivan, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at the College. “They work diligently to excel in the classroom and in the playing field, and to be recognized as one of the top institutions in Division II for academic excellence is a tremendous accomplishment. I would like to thank all of our student-athletes who continue to bring great pride to Stonehill through their remarkable achievements."

The Division II Academic Requirements Committee established the Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence to recognize programs achieving long-term academic success. The honor is intended to call attention to those programs and is not intended as a ranking. The Division II Academic Success Rate measures graduation rates for virtually all Division II student-athletes, including transfers and those not receiving athletically related financial aid. Active and provisional member institutions when the data were submitted for 2010-11 were eligible for the Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence. The four-year ASR measured the entering cohorts from 2001 to 2004, inclusive.

The Division II Academic Success Rate captures about two-third more student-athletes than the federal graduation rate, which does not count incoming transfers, counts outgoing transfers as having not graduated and counts only student-athletes receiving athletically related financial aid. The national four-year ASR average is 72 percent. Regardless of the measure, Division II student-athletes graduate at a higher rate than the general student body. The federal rate for the 2004 entering class of student-athletes was 55 percent, compared to 49 percent for the general student body.

In addition to capturing the NE-10 Presidents’ Cup for the third time at the conclusion of the 2010-11 academic year, Stonehill finished ranked 51st in the final Learfield Sports Directors Cup standings which recognizes overall athletic achievement in NCAA sports. Stonehill is also ranked second in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs for the second-straight year. 

Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence
Division II programs with a four-year Academic Success Rate of 90 percent of higher:

99% Saint Michael’s
98% Stonehill
98% University of the Sciences
97% Seattle Pacific
95% Philadelphia University
95% Rollins
95% Truman State
95% UC San Diego
94% Assumption
93% Adelphi
93% Hillsdale
93% Lincoln (Pa.)
93% Molloy
93% Rockhurst
91% Augustana (S.D.)
91% Bellarmine
91% Bentley
91% Drury
91% Eckerd
91% Georgian Court
91% Colorado-Colorado Springs
90% Chestnut Hill
90% Florida Tech
90% Regis (Colo.)