SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly’s Graduation Success Rate among its 550 student-athletes climbed two percent to 82 percent, according to the NCAA Graduation Rates Report released by the NCAA this week.
That figure represents a 13-percent increase over Cal Poly’s GSR over the past eight years.
Men’s basketball led the way with a 17-percent improvement in its GSR and a 27-percent increase in its Federal Graduation Rate.
The current Graduation Rates Report compiles data about students and student-athletes entering as freshmen in 2011, the most recent graduating class for which the required six years of information is available.
Eight of Cal Poly’s athletic teams posted a GSR of over 90 percent, two more than a year ago. In addition to men’s basketball, they include men’s golf, men’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, softball and women’s swimming and diving.
Men’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s basketball and women’s soccer posted 100 percent graduation success rates. Men’s tennis is the lone Mustang team with an FGR score of 100 percent.
In addition, five teams posted improvements in both the GSR and FGR over last year. They include men’s cross country/track and field, men’s swimming and diving, men’s basketball, men’s soccer and softball.
Football, men’s tennis, women’s volleyball and women’s cross country and track and field recorded an improvement in its GSR while women’s swimming and diving posted improvement in its FGR rate over a year ago.
Men’s golf, women’s basketball, women’s golf and women’s tennis maintained their GSR scores of a year ago, as did men’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s golf and women’s soccer with their FGR rate.
"These numbers are indicative of the great work of Mustang student-athletes. These men and women embody our motto of ‘Athletic and Academic Excellence’,” said Cal Poly director of athletics Don Oberhelman. "For these great numbers, there is plenty of credit to go around.
"Our coaching staff emphases the 'student' in student-athlete, which is the only pathway to success at this amazing university,” Oberhelman added. "Louise Torgerson, Kyle Ross, Zach Reed and the entire Mustang Success Center unit work tirelessly with our student-athletes to help them achieve their academic goals, and earning a Cal Poly degree.”
More Division I student‐athletes than ever nationwide are earning their degrees. The most recent rate is 88 percent, a record high and an increase of 1 percentage point from 2017 numbers.
The overall single‐year rate was boosted by increased rates among black student‐athletes in all sports (up 2 percentage points to 79 percent), men’s basketball players (up 3 percentage points to 85 percent), Football Bowl Subdivision participants (up 1 percentage point to 79 percent) and Football Championship Subdivision participants (up 3 percentage points to 79 percent).
Data released Wednesday reflect graduation numbers among student‐athletes who entered school in 2011.
Black men’s basketball players, who reached an all‐time high GSR of 78 percent last year, are up another 4 points in 2018 to 82 percent.
“Student‐athletes continue to achieve academic success at record levels,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “When the GSR was created more than 15 years ago, the NCAA set an aspirational goal of 80 percent of student‐athletes graduating. College athletes have met and exceeded that goal — as they often do with any challenge.
“Most significant is the number of black student‐athletes who earn their degree,” Emmert continued. “As college graduates, they are much more likely to have successful careers after they leave school.”
Since 2002, the rate for black men’s basketball players has increased 36 points. The rate for black women’s basketball players is up 19 points in that time (to 89 percent).