The National Collegiate Athletics Association's (NCAA) Division I Committee on Athletics Certification has announced that Saint Mary's College of California has completed the association's certification process for a Division I collegiate institution.
The purpose of NCAA athletics certification is to ensure integrity in a college or university's athletics program and to assist an institution in improving its athletics department. The NCAA has required institutions to complete athletic certifications for the past 17 years. All 335 active Division I members participate in the certification process.
The certification process for the College involved a yearlong institutional self-study led by Vice Provost of Enrollment and Vice President for College Communications Michael Beseda with the assistance of Brother President Ronald Gallagher, Athletic Director Mark Orr and various members of the institution's faculty, staff and athletics department personnel. The self-study reviewed governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, gender and diversity issues and student-athlete wellbeing.
Brother President Ronald Gallagher said the NCAA's certification underscores the College's ongoing commitment to integrity in its athletics operations. "It shows our Division I athletics program is thoroughly woven into the fabric of the College. The report complements the degree to which the program meets the NCAA standards of institutional control by the executive office and governing board of Saint Mary's College," said Gallagher.
Beseda said the certification indicates the College's athletics program meets established benchmarks set for all Division I members, such as graduation rates for student-athletes. "The NCAA wants institutions to show that student-athletes are progressing toward graduation and that is the case at Saint Mary's. Overall, the academic performance of our student athletes is consistent with the College's general student body," he said.
The NCAA's announcement reflects the third certification process for the College. Saint Mary's completed its first certification self-study in 1994. At the 1997 Convention, the NCAA Division I membership voted to change the frequency of athletics certification from once every five years to once every 10 years. The College completed its second certification self-study in 2000.
For more information about the NCAA certification announcement visit the association's website at www.ncaa.org/wps/portal/. Additional information on the College's self-study process can be found on the NCAA Self Study webpage of Saint Mary's College at http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/about-smc/vice-provost-of-enrollment-vp-college-communications/ncaa-selfstudy/index.html.