UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Five Penn State teams have received a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA for earning high scores in the most recent Academic Progress Rate (APR) compilation, including the Nittany Lions’ two most recent NCAA championship squads.
All five teams earned multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent nationally for their respective sport through the 2014-15 academic year (data from 2011-12 through 2014-15).The five Penn State squads recognized by the NCAA are: women's cross-country, women’s hockey, women’s soccer, women’s tennis and wrestling. The women’s soccer and wrestling programs have captured NCAA championships during the past four months.Penn State is the nation’s only Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institution that has two NCAA championship teams from the past two years (2014-15 and 2015-16) that received an NCAA Public Recognition Award for the 2014-15 academic year. Duke, Georgia, Stanford, UCLA, Villanova and Virginia are among the schools that have had one national championship team the past two years that was recognized by the NCAA for its multi-year APR score.The NCAA also recognized the Nittany Lion women's cross-country, women’s hockey, wrestling teams with Public Recognition Awards last year. Led by Coach John Gondak, the women’s cross-country team has earned six consecutive Public Recognition accolades.The NCAA has recognized a total of 69 Penn State teams with a Public Recognition Award since the program’s inception in 2006. Penn State has placed fourth or higher in the number of Big Ten Conference teams earning a Public Recognition Award in all 11 years of the program, tying for fourth in the 2014-15 compilation. The women’s tennis squad, coached by Chris Cagle, has earned a Penn State-high 10 NCAA Public Recognition Awards in the 11 years of the program. The field hockey team, led by Char Morett, has been honored nine times, and the women’s cross-country program has been recognized seven times. The women’s golf squad, led by Denise St. Pierre, and the wrestling program, directed by Cael Sanderson, are next with six NCAA Public Recognition Awards.Penn State has had at least four teams earn NCAA Public Recognition Awards in all 11 years of the program. Twenty-one of Penn State’s 31 programs have earned at least one NCAA Public Recognition Award since the program’s inception.The aggregate 2014-15 Academic Progress Rate data for all NCAA Division I institutions will be announced later this month.
The NCAA's APR is designed to track the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship at a particular institution. It accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation each term to provide a clear measure of each team's academic performance.