"The commitment and dedication of the athletic academic staff to assist our student-athletes earn their degree is outstanding. I am so proud of the work our student-athletes have done to be successful now and beyond graduation. In conjunction with the Life Skills department, we have afforded MSU student-athletes many opportunities to be prepared for life after sport through their efforts on campus and in the community." - Christine Jackson, Assistant Athletic Director of Academics
A Great Lesson
While graduating is the ultimate goal for any student, maintaining good grades and staying up-to-date with classwork throughout one's entire collegiate career are imperative in the athletic world. A strong GPA not only affects an individual's eligibility, but also directly influences a team as a whole.
"We are getting to go to a bowl game because of academics and because of the work our guys have done. I think it is one of the great lessons that guys in our program will learn during their whole career here - that it was academics and things off the field that got them rewarded with this trip this year." - Dan Mullen, Head Football Coach
MSU Football’s NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 971 is 12 points better than the national average, allowing the Bulldogs to earn a seventh straight bowl bid. They will play in the St. Petersburg Bowl on Dec. 26.
A Familiar Face
Academic excellence and personal growth are not only celebrated within the athletic department at MSU, but across the entirety of the Southeastern Conference. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey joined MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum at the Dec. 7 commencement ceremony as the event's guest speaker.
Before congratulating the graduates on their success, Sankey touched on the intricacies of balance in one's life, the many hats he wears day in and day out and how those roles affect his decisions.
"Balance is best left to a see saw on a playground. What you have to figure out are the values that inform how you will live and the priorities you derive from those values," he said.
Setting the Bar High
MSU Athletics' latest NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR), released in November, was a combined score of 86, representing the school’s highest total since the formula’s inception in 2005.
A record six Bulldog programs – men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, softball and volleyball -- earned perfect NCAA GSR scores of 100.
Eleven Bulldog programs exceeded the NCAA GSR national average and seven MSU programs tied or exceeded their all-time high in NCAA GSR.