Long Beach State athletes continue to shine off the court as the organization’s National Collegiate Athletic Association Graduation Success Rate passes 90% for the first time in its 71 year history.
Announced last week, the Beach has a 91% student-athlete graduation success rate according to the NCAA Graduation Success Rate Database.
The GSR is designed to track student-athletes for six years after entering college and does not penalize a school for a student who transfers while in good academic standing.
The database was first created by the Division I Board of Directors in response to participating college and university presidents who wanted data that more accurately reflected the mobility of student athletes than the federal graduation rate.
“I think sometimes maybe people overlook it and they don’t really see us as being focused on academics, they think since obviously we’re just here bouncing basketballs and spiking volleyballs is not really focused on why we’re really here,” Long Beach State athletic director Andy Fee said.
Following a GSR of 87% in 2018 and a new high GSR of 89% in 2019, the Beach continues to set a standard both within the Big West and in the state of California at 91%, with only the University of California, Davis ranking higher at 92%.
Long Beach State ranks second in GSR among both Big West institutions and public universities in California.
“There’s a lot of public institutions in the state of California so we’re prideful of the 91% graduation success rate which is up 4% from about three years ago,” Fee said. “I truly, and we truly mean this, it takes the faculty, it takes the staff, it takes tutors, it takes counselors, it takes coaches, I mean it takes a village to have the success that we’ve had,” Fee said. “And that ultimately flows up to President Conley and what she has high expectations for our student athletes.”
Within Beach athletics, no team had a GSR score lower than 83%, with six programs including men’s golf, men’s volleyball, women’s golf, women’s tennis, women’s volleyball and women’s water polo receiving a 100% over the period ending in 2019-20.
Long Beach State saw a 27% difference in score between the Graduation Success Rate and the Federal Graduation Rate as transfers became more common within collegiate athletics.
“We use it in recruiting that you know you can come here and be a national champion and get your degree from a fantastic university, and walking the walk, because it is important to us, we care very much about academics here at beach athletics,” Fee said.