|The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has continued to implement metrics to determine the number of student-athletes who are academically eligible to compete within their sport and ultimately earn a degree. The following study applied Tinto’s Student Integration Model to three metrics that are used by the NCAA.
The study examined whether Academic Progress Rate (APR), a semester by semester metric developed by the NCAA, could predict Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a six year cohort metric also developed by the NCAA. Lastly, the study examined the correlation between GSR and Federal Graduation Rate (FGR), a six year cohort metric that was developed by the Federal government and applies to all institutions that receive Federal funding.
The data set consisted of 240 samples and 720 total scores which were taken from 2003-2006 for APR, GSR, and FGR. Due to the sample size of specific sports over the three year period, not all samples were included in the final analysis. The sports excluded were men’s tennis, men’s golf, men’s basketball, men’s soccer, women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, women’s volleyball, women’s golf, women’s tennis, women’s bowling, and women’s lacrosse.
The six sports that had a sample size that were 20 or larger were analyzed with a correlation and a significance level of .05. However, to take into effect any error that was present, the Bonferroni adjustment was made. Therefore, for the results to be significant once the adjustment was taken into consideration, alpha needs to be less than .0083 (.05/6).
Men’s swimming and softball were significant as their p values were < .0083. Therefore, for these two sports APR is a predictor of GSR. Conversely, the p values for baseball, football, women’s soccer, and women’s swimming, were all greater than .0083; and, therefore, they are not statistically significant. As a result baseball, football, women’s soccer, and women’s swimming APR are not a predictor of GSR.
Additionally, the following correlations existed between GSR and FGR. Men’s swimming had a strong positive correlation indicating that there was a strong relationship when comparing FGR to GSR. In addition, women’s soccer and softball had moderate to strong positive correlations when comparing FGR to GSR. Lastly, all of the remaining sports, baseball, football, and women’s swimming, had moderate correlations when comparing FGR to GSR.
Additional research is needed to identify possible trends in the data for student-athletes APR, GSR, and FGR rates as well as to increase the sample size of years from which all three scores were collected.