CSU athletics posts high graduation rates, NCAA report says

Dec. 10, 2018

By Zak Zevchik

The NCAA released its report detailing student-athlete graduation rates across the nation—and Cleveland State posted some numbers above the national average and atop the Horizon League.

Cleveland State athletes posted a multi-year graduation success rate of 94 percent, a single-year graduation success rate of 97.8 percent and eight of the teams had perfect graduation success rates, according to the report.

Among the eight teams with perfect scores were men’s basketball, men’s tennis, cross country, women’s golf, softball, women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis and volleyball.

Cleveland State’s 94 percent multi-year graduation success rate is top in the Horizon League.

Cleveland State Athletic Director Michael Thomas said that the high graduation rates for Cleveland State student-athletes results from the commitment to helping students earn a degree and hard work from everyone involved.

“Athletics high graduation rates is consistent with the commitment we make to our prospective student-athletes and their families in making it our top priority to ensure their son or daughter earn a degree,” Thomas said. “Making this a reality at such a high level is a real credit to our academic staff, coaches and student-athletes and reflects their continued dedication and hard work.”

Thomas also said that credit should go to the academic support services that are available for student-athletes at Cleveland State.

“CSU Athletics has tremendous support services which starts with incredible academic advisers who are passionate about the daily and long-term success of Viking student-athletes and play a significant role in each of these individuals earning a degree,” Thomas said. “Viking student-athletes have access to an extremely qualified and committed support staff who work out of academic space in both Woodling Gymnasium and the Wolstein Center.”

Thomas said that these types of graduation rate numbers for athletics start with the head coaches creating a culture of academic importance.

“Having high-achieving academic programs starts with the head coaches and the emphasis they place on student-athletes excelling,” Thomas said. “Establishing a healthy academic-centered culture is reflected not only in high graduation rates and GPAs, but also results in strong retention figures.”

Cleveland State’s 97.8 percent single-year graduation rate is nearly 10 percent higher than the national average. Thomas said that for this trend of student-athlete academic success to continue, athletics continue to bring in people who believe in their mission.

“It starts with hiring personnel, coaches and staff and recruiting prospective student-athletes who believe in our mission to provide an outstanding overall experience and knowing that graduating with a CSU diploma is paramount to making this happen,” Thomas said. “It is imperative we continue to grow with facilities, staff, technology and programming if we hope to sustain a high-level of success in this very important area.”


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