As ScoutsOut pointed out in a fanpost the other day, the University of Alabama had Five Athletic Programs earn NCAA APR Awards.
Our beloved Tide is winning and is winning with the right kind of people. Does the APR have flaws as a method of measuring academic success? Yes. But it is the measure currently recognized and does provide some basis for comparing institutions and their athletic programs.
Just my thought but this is solid vindication of the strategy put in place by former President and now Chancellor Robert Witt. Use athletics as the promotional vehicle for the University, put the right people in the right places and thereby grow the University, increase the academic reputation and let success breed success.
Alabama is the only school in the nation to have two student-athletes on the 15-member first team and one of just two schools to have all three nominees earn a place on the overall list. Alabama was the only school with all three honorees on the first and second team as Navy, the other school with three, had one each on the first, second and third teams. The Capital One Academic All-America Women's At-Large Team includes student-athletes from 13 sports - bowling, rowing, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis and water polo.
Alabama had the only football squad in the Southeastern Conference to earn the award and was second only to Vanderbilt in the total number of teams honored. The Tide was also one of just two NCAA Division I schools to earn the award in both football and men's basketball, with Duke being the other.
Additionally, the University has seen grad rates increase as well.
Graduation and retention rates for The University of Alabama are higher than the national average, UA spokeswoman Cathy Andreen said. Andreen said the six-year graduation rate for freshmen who started at the Capstone in 2006 was 66.5 percent. On the other hand, the retention rate for freshman enrolling in 2011 and returning in 2012 was 85.4 percent. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates approximately 56 percent of male and 61 percent of female first-time, full-time students who sought a bachelor’s degree at a four year institution in fall 2004 completed their degree at that institution within six years.
Not only has the University seen graduation rates increase, the football team has as well. For the 2010 - 2011 school year, Alabama football posted a 75% graduation success rate. That is up from 69% the previous year. Men's basketball wasn't far behind in 2010-2011 posting an impressive 71% GSR. This was also an increase from the previous year's mark of 67%.
This goes to show that the University of Alabama and its athletic departments are championing success not only on the field, court and fairway, but also in the classroom as well.