Siena student athletes graduate. Using the most recent data released Thursday in the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report, student athletes who entered Siena as freshmen in 2005 graduated from college at a 95% clip, the sixth highest rate in the nation.
Siena has ranked in the top-10 percent of Division I institutions in all eight GSR reports, and is one of just 21 schools with a GSR of 93% or above in each report. This is the sixth time Siena has posted a GSR of 95% or above. The 98% attained in the 2011 report represented Siena's best GSR.
"I think it's a commitment that begins with the Board of Trustees," Siena president Fr. Kevin Mullen, O.F.M. said of the continued academic success of Siena's student athletes. "It's a commitment that is shared by our faculty and our administrators. It's something our student body and staff take great pride in. I think there's a collective effort here."
Thursday's report gives graduation information for students and student athletes who entered college in 2005, the most recent class for which the required six years of information is available. It also breaks down the GSR by sport, using a four-year class average (2001-2004) called a cohort rate to provide a big enough sample.
Twelve of Siena's Division I sports posted perfect 100% cohort GSRs, and all 18 out-performed the cohort national average. Siena sports that achieved perfect cohort GSRs were: men's cross country, men's golf, men's tennis, women's cross country, field hockey, women's golf, women's soccer, softball, swimming and diving, women's tennis, volleyball and water polo.
Siena's basketball programs surpassed the cohort GSR national average by a large margin. The men's basketball program posted an 89% cohort GSR according to the report, 15 percentage points higher than the national average of 74%. The women's basketball program registered a 92% cohort GSR compared to the national average of 84%.
"Students come here and we're committed to giving them a degree within four years," Siena's vice president for academic affairs Dr. Linda Richardson said. "Families are investing a great deal in (a Siena education), so we're committed to provide the services necessary to get students through in a timely fashion."
The NCAA developed the GSR eight years ago because the Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) does not credit institutions with student athletes who leave in good academic standing and go on to graduate, or transfers into the school who graduate.
Thursday's report also included the most recent FGR data. Using the cohort FGR rate, Siena student athletes checked in at 78%, two percentage points higher than the rate attained by Siena's general student population (76%), and 13 percentage points higher than the national student athlete average (65%).
The FGR is based on a comparison of the number of students who entered a college or university and the number of those who graduated within six years. For example, for every 100 Siena student athletes entering school from 2002-05, 78 graduate from Siena within six years.
"Our student athletes continue to excel in the classroom, and put Siena among the top schools in the country when it comes to graduation success," Director of Athletics John D'Argenio said. "It's a goal of Siena's current Strategic Plan to earn national recognition for academic success, and this achievement shows our student athletes are doing their part."
Overall, the national GSR for the 2005 cohort was 81 percent, a point off the 82 percent of the 2004 cohort, but still higher than any other previous cohort.
"Our academic reforms continue to bear fruit," said NCAA President Mark Emmert. "We are not satisfied, but we are proud that we have reached another milestone, as now seven of every 10 student athletes in our highest-profile sports are earning their degrees."