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Submission of Academic Progress Rate (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR) Data Policy

Submission of Academic Progress Rate (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR) Data Policy

Authority: 
Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management
Date enacted or revised: 
Enacted May 2020

Purpose
 
As per NCAA bylaw 14.01.4, the purpose of the Academic Performance Program (APP) “is to ensure that the Division I membership is dedicated to providing student-athletes with exemplary educational and intercollegiate-athletics experiences in an environment that recognizes and supports the primacy of the academic mission of its member institutions, while enhancing the ability of male and female student-athletes to earn a four-year degree.”
 
As an NCAA Division I member institution, McNeese State University is required to submit Academic Progress Rate (APR), Academic Performance Census (APC), and Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data to the NCAA by applicable deadlines. To comply with this requirement and to ensure that data is submitted with accuracy and integrity, McNeese has adopted a written policy and step-by-step procedures for collecting, certifying, and submitting APR and GSR data.
 
Submission of Academic Progress Rate (APR) Data
 
On an annual basis, McNeese is required to submit APR data to the NCAA. The following provides an overview of the process for compiling, reviewing, and submitting APR data.
 
The following staff/offices are responsible for the collection and submission of APR data:
  • Student Certification Officer in the Office of the Registrar
  • Compliance Office for Athletics
  • Director of Student-Athlete Services
 
APP data (both APR and APC) is reported through the NCAA Academic Portal, part of the online NCAA Applications, which is accessible through single-source sign-on.
 
Fall Procedures
 
  1. Upon the completion and posting of summer courses, the Student Certification Officer completes the entry of summer data into Compliance Assistant, which is accessed through NCAA Applications.
    1. For each term (fall/spring/summer), data entered into the Degree Progress tab in Compliance Assistant includes hours attempted, hours earned, remedial hours earned, degree applicable hours earned, term GPA, and cumulative GPA.
    2. In addition, the Student Certification Officer may enter (a) eligibility and retention outcomes in the Academic Portal tab, (b) transfer data, where applicable, and (c) designated degree program within Compliance Assistant.
  2. Three weeks after the first day of classes in the fall semester, the Student Certification Officer completes the entry of preliminary APP data into the Academic Portal using data imported from Compliance Assistant.
  3. Three weeks after the first day of classes in the fall semester, the Student Certification Officer, Compliance Office, and Director of Student-Athlete Services meet to review preliminary data and identify potential APR adjustments and corrections.
  4. Four weeks after the first day of classes, the Compliance Office and Director of Student-Athlete Services meet with head coaches of each sport to review preliminary data and gather feedback on potential APR adjustments and corrections. (Depending upon the case, these conversations may have begun in the fall/spring of the previous academic year.)
  5. Between four weeks and eight weeks after the first day of classes, the Compliance Office, in collaboration with the Student Certification Officer, submits any APR adjustments. The Compliance Office shall be the primary party responsible for the compilation of documentation and drafting of APR adjustment requests.
  6. For all student-athletes receiving a transfer adjustment, the Compliance Office, in collaboration with the Student Certification Officer, verifies the student-athlete’s enrollment at the next institution. This can be accomplished through (a) matriculation verification within the Transfer Portal, (b) receiving confirmation from the next institution, or (c) use of the National Student Clearinghouse database.
  7. The Student Certification Officer, Compliance Office, and Director of Student-Athlete Services review the list of potential Delayed Graduation Points to determine if any former student-athletes are eligible to receive a point.
  8. If further APR adjustments or corrections are needed (e.g., student-athlete is eligible for an adjustment of a lost APR point due to mitigating circumstances), the Compliance Office, Student Certification Officer, and Director of Student-Athlete Services work together to determine the best possible course of action.
  9. Once APP data is submitted, but prior to the end of the correction/adjustment phase, the Student Certification Officer, Compliance Office, and Director of Student-Athlete Services collaborate to draft individual team APR reports. The Compliance Office and Director of Student-Athlete Services then meet with each head coach to discuss these APR reports and determine if any additional corrections or adjustments are warranted.
 
Winter Procedures
 
  1. Upon completion of the fall term, the Student Certification Officer, in conjunction with the Compliance Office and the Director of Student-Athlete Services, conducts mid-year certifications of student-athletes.
  2. The Student Certification Officer enters degree progress data from the fall semester into Compliance Assistant.
  3. In mid to late January, the NCAA opens the Academic Portal for initial submission of data. By March 1, the Student Certification Officer enters the fall APR outcomes.
  4. Prior to March 15, the Student Certification Officer, Compliance Office, and Director of Student-Athlete Services meet to discuss fall APR numbers and possible strategies for spring.
  5. By March 15, the Compliance Office and Director of Student-Athlete Services then meet with all head coaches to discuss fall APR numbers and strategies for spring APR outcomes. (For example, if points were lost in the fall semester, can additional student-athletes be added to financial aid to mitigate the impact of those lost points?)
 
Spring Procedures
 
  1. Prior to the completion of the spring semester, generally around May 1, the Student Certification Officer, Compliance Office, and Director of Student-Athlete Services conduct a final review of preliminary APR data. The Compliance Office and Director of Student-Athlete Services then meet with head coaches to discuss lost points from the fall as well as any potential eligibility or retention issues expected during the spring/summer. (For example, are there student-athletes that may be transferring or have their scholarship non-renewed?)
  2. If necessary, prior to the last day of classes, appropriate offices add student-athletes to retroactive financial aid.
 
Summer Procedures
 
  1. By July 15, the Student Certification Officer completes the entry of spring academic data into Compliance Assistant.
  2. By July 15, the Student Certification Officer, after collaborating with the Compliance Office and Director of Student-Athlete Services, enters preliminary eligibility and retention outcomes for all student-athletes.
  3. Upon completion of any summer sessions, the Student Certification Officer enters updated summer information into the Academic Portal.
  4. Begin Fall semester procedures, as described above. 
 
Additional Procedures
 
  1. 2.6/3.3 Transfer Adjustments:  For all student-athletes who transfer immediately to another four-year school with a 2.6 cumulative GPA or higher, the Compliance Office collaborates with the Student Certification Officer to upload verification of matriculation from the Transfer Portal into the Academic Portal.
    1. If the former McNeese student-athlete does not have information available from within the Transfer Portal (e.g., 3.3 transfer to a two-year school, international transfer), the Student Certification Officer submits to the Registrar at the transfer destination a matriculation verification form. (If that is unsuccessful, the Compliance Office submits the form to its counterpart at the transfer institution.) Once the form is received, it is uploaded into the student-athlete’s Academic Details page within the Academic Portal.
    2. If the matriculation verification form is not received, the Student Certification Officer attempts to verify and document enrollment at another institution through the National Student Clearinghouse database.
  2. Professional Departure:  For student-athletes who meet the professional departure adjustment criteria, the Compliance Office obtains and uploads documentation of the former student-athlete’s professional status to the student-athlete’s Academic Details page in the Academic Portal.
  3. Delayed Graduation Points:  The Student Certification Officer, Compliance Office, and Director of Student-Athlete Services maintain a joint list of former student-athletes eligible for delayed graduation points. This list is used as a guide for contacting potential graduates and is checked on a semester-by-semester basis to determine if any former student-athletes have returned to McNeese to graduate.
 
Submission of Graduation Success Rate (GSR) Data
 
On an annual basis, McNeese is required to submit Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data to the NCAA. The GSR tracks the graduation of scholarship student-athletes within a six-year window. However, the GSR differs from the Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) in two distinct ways. First, the GSR holds McNeese accountable for student-athletes who transfer to the school. Second, McNeese is not penalized when student-athletes transfer from the institution in good academic standing; those student-athletes are simply removed from the cohort.
 
The following provides an overview of the process for compiling, reviewing, and submitting GSR data to the NCAA on an annual basis. Submission of mandated Federal/IPEDS data occurs through this process as well and is therefore included in the policy.
 
Data collection for Graduation Rates consists of three components within the Academic Portal:
  • Student-Athlete Outcomes (GSR)
  • Student Body Graduation Rates (FGR – also includes student-athletes)
  • Enrollment & Demographic Data for student body and student-athletes
 
The following staff/offices are responsible for the collection and submission of GSR data:
  • Student Certification Officer in the Office of the Registrar
  • Assistant Director of Institutional Research in the Office of Institutional Research
  • Compliance Office
 
GSR data is reported through the NCAA Academic Portal, part of the online NCAA Applications, which is accessible through single-source sign-on.
 
Creation/Confirmation of the Cohort
 
  1. Each year, generally in early March, the Academic Portal populates the GSR and FGR cohorts based on data that was provided through the APR submission process.
  2. In the Academic Portal, the cohort is found under Student-Athlete Outcomes in the Graduation Rates tab.
  3. While the NCAA’s creation of the GSR cohort is a helpful tool, the Student Certification Officer and Compliance Office verifies the accuracy of the cohort by:
  1. Checking the squad lists from the appropriate years to ensure the first term of enrollment at any college institution is accurate for the student-athletes in the cohort.
  2. Checking the squad lists from the appropriate years to confirm that all student-athletes who enrolled and received aid are included in the cohort and that no student-athletes are improperly excluded.
 
GSR Outcomes
 
  1. Once the GSR cohort composition has been verified as accurate, the Assistant Director of Institutional Research, in conjunction with the Student Certification Officer, confirms the student-athlete outcome data. The Assistant Director of Institutional Research then enters that data into the Academic Portal.
  2. Student-athletes in the GSR cohort can have one of four outcomes:  (1) Graduated, (2) Left academically eligible with athletic eligibility remaining, (3) Exclusion, or (4) Did not graduate/did not leave eligible.
    1. Graduated:  Student-athletes must graduate within six years of initial full-time enrollment at any collegiate institution to count as graduated within the GSR. If a student-athlete graduated after the six years, he/she would be labeled as “Did not graduate/did not leave eligible”.
      1. Even though student-athletes labeled as a “Graduated” in the APR data are automatically noted as “Graduated” in the GSR data, the Assistant Director of Institutional Research, in conjunction with the Student Certification Officer, confirms the student-athletes’ graduation within the McNeese student information system.
      2. Student-athletes who graduate after athletically related financial aid is discontinued are not pre-populated as “Graduated” in the APR data. The Assistant Director of Institutional Research, in conjunction with the Student Certification Officer, confirms the student-athletes’ graduation within the McNeese student information system.
    2. Left academically eligible with athletic eligibility remaining:  Student-athletes who did not graduate and left the institution academically eligible with athletic eligibility remaining should be labeled as such. These student-athletes are removed from the GSR cohort. (If they received aid as first-time freshmen, they remain in the FGR cohort.)
      1. The Student Certification Officer determines which student-athletes “left academically eligible with athletic eligibility remaining” and provides these outcomes to the Assistant Director of Institutional Research.
      2. Usually, the Student Certification Officer determines if a student-athlete left academically eligible through a review of his/her data within the Academic Portal.
      3. In cases where student-athlete eligibility cannot be determined from the Academic Portal, the Student Certification Officer conducts retroactive Progress Toward Degree (PTD) evaluations to determine eligibility at the time of departure from the institution.
    3. Exclusion:  Student-athletes may be excluded from the GSR (and FGR) if they leave school to participate in military service, suffer death or permanent disability, or participate in a religious mission or foreign aid service. (Pregnancy is not considered an allowable exclusion.)
      1. The Assistant Director of Institutional Research, in conjunction with the Student Certification Officer, verifies any exclusions from the cohort.
    4. Did not graduate/did not leave eligible:  All student-athletes who do not fall into one of the three categories above are classified as “Did not graduate/did not leave eligible.”
      1. This applies to any student-athlete who:
        1. Departed McNeese and would not have been eligible to compete had he/she remained at McNeese or
        2. Exhausted athletic eligibility and did not graduate from the McNeese.
  3. Student-athletes who depart the institution to become professional athletes can receive an adjustment to their APR retention point. However, with regard to GSR data:
    1. If a student-athlete becomes a professional athlete after exhausting athletic eligibility, he/she must graduate within six years to be considered “Graduated.”
    2. If a student-athlete becomes a professional athlete prior to exhausting athletic eligibility, he/she is considered “Left academically eligible with athletic eligibility remaining” unless he/she returns to graduate.
 
Student-Athlete Demographic and Student Body Graduation Rate Data
 
With the student-athlete outcome data submission for GSR, McNeese also submits demographic data regarding student-athletes and outcome/demographic data regarding the student body. The Assistant Director of Institutional Research enters the data per the timeline provided below.
 
Timeline for Submission of GSR and Graduation Rate Data
 
As noted above, the NCAA generally makes the GSR cohort available for outcome submission in early March. Since data is due to the NCAA on or before June 1, McNeese strives to follow the timeline below to ensure timely and accurate submission of data in the Academic Portal.
  • By April 15, the Student Certification Officer, in conjunction with the Compliance Office, verifies the accuracy of the GSR cohort.
  • By May 15, the Assistant Director of Institutional Research, in conjunction with the Student Certification Officer, determines/confirms all student-athlete outcomes within the Academic Portal.
  • By May 15, the Assistant Director of Institutional Research enters student-athlete demographic data and student body demographic and outcome data.
  • By May 20, the Assistant Director of Institutional Research, in conjunction with the Compliance Office, drafts correspondence summarizing the GSR and FGR outcomes and submits it along with the signature page (obtained from the Academic Portal) to the President for completion.
  • By June 1, the Assistant Director of Institutional Research submits final data and uploads the completed signature page from the President into the Academic Portal.

Communication

 This policy is distributed via Senior Staff.