With the close of the academic year, grades are posted and San José State student-athletes can celebrate another banner year in the classroom.
Based on the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores that measure retention and graduation, SJSU can celebrate its fourth straight year with a department APR score above 970 when the benchmark of 930 translates to a 50 percent graduation rate. Eighteen of the 20 teams had an APR score of 955 of higher in this year’s report and the goal is to have the department’s APR at 985 by the end of the 2018-19 school year. The men’s cross country, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics and beach volleyball teams received a NCAA Public Recognition Award for earning the maximum score of 1,000 in the latest report.
“One of the core values of San Jose State University Athletics is ‘academics.’ Every single day we focus our attention on surrounding our student-athletes with the resources to be academically successful. Our dedicated advisors and learning specialists, not to mention our coaches and staff, recognize the importance and the priority of academic achievement,” said Athletics Director Marie Tuite.
“We celebrate this past year with the knowledge we can be better, and will continue to place academic interests and pursuits as the key priority of this department. Nothing is more important than earning a degree from San Jose State University. I’m incredibly proud of the students-athletes and coaches for these accomplishments.”
Of the more than 100 student-athletes that graduated this year, 19 graduated with honors. Thirteen were cum laude graduates (a 3.50 or higher GPA), five were magna cum laude (3.70 or higher GPA) and one graduated with the highest honor, summa cum laude (3.85 or higher GPA). Through increased focus and outreach, five former student-athletes returned to San José State and completed their undergraduate degrees. Another nine earned a master’s degree.
For the fourth consecutive year, more than 60 student-athletes were recognized either as a President’s Scholar (4.00 GPA) or a Dean’s Scholar (3.65) at the University’s annual Honors Convocation.
More than 50 percent of San José State’s student-athlete population achieved a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher either in the 2017 fall or 2018 spring semesters.
When all the conference academic awards for the year are handed out by the end of July, San Jose State University student-athletes will receive 207 awards either from the Mountain West, Western Athletic Conference, Mountain Pacific Sports Federation or the Golden Coast Conference.
Last April, SJSU led the nation with a school record 41 student-athletes who were honored as 2018 Arthur Ashe, Jr., Sports-Scholars. The annual awards program recognizes undergraduate student-athletes of color who personify tennis legend Arthur Ashe’s ideals of scholarship, athletics achievement and humanitarianism. Student-athletes selected had at least a 3.20 cumulative grade-point average and were active in community service activities.
Four men’s and 10 women’s water polo players were members of the Association of College Water Polo Coaches’ National All-Academic teams. The College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) named five Spartans to its Scholar All-America Team. In the near future, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) and the United States Track & Cross Country Coaches Association will name Spartan student-athletes to 2018 national scholar-athlete achievement programs.
Football’s Nate Velichko qualified for the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame’s Hampshire Honor Society and was a national semifinalist for the NFF William V. Campbell Trophy, which is the academic equivalent in football to the Heisman Trophy.
For the first time, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) recognized San Jose State football for academic achievement based on the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) formula. Based on this year’s NCAA report on GSR, the football program has an all-time high 81 percent graduation rate for the freshmen and transfer classes 2007 through 2010.
Women’s swimming and diving, women’s water polo, and women’s tennis kept their streaks going for team GPA’s above a 3.00 and were honored by their respective national coaches associations. For women’s swimming, it’s 11 consecutive semesters, eight years for women’s tennis, and two for women’s water polo.
“We look forward to our student-athletes’ future academic achievements and accomplishments. They are wonderful representatives and ambassadors of our great institution – San Jose State University,” concluded Tuite.