The number of CSULB student-athletes who graduated after six years increased 7 percent in 2006, continuing a university trend of rising graduation and retention rates.
In 2006, 59 percent of student-athletes who received grants or scholarships while enrolled as full-time students at CSULB graduated after six years, up from 52 percent in 2005, according to figures released recently by the NCAA.
"It is encouraging to see the number of student-athletes who are earning their degrees continuing to increase," said CSULB Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Karen L. Gould. "The university has placed a tremendous emphasis on providing academic support to all students to ensure they succeed. This indicates that our efforts are paying off, but we need to continue increasing those numbers."
The rise in student-athlete graduation rates is the result of support provided by the Bickerstaff Academic Center for Student-Athletes. Since the student-athlete services program was established in the 1980s, it has grown from one full-time employee and a few student assistants to a nationally recognized program with nine full-time and three part-time staff members who offer academic advising, tutoring, supervised study halls, study skills seminars, peer mentoring and more. The staff assists and monitors the academic progress of student athletes while ensuring students maintain NCAA athletic eligibility requirements.
"Over the past 12 years, graduation rates among CSULB student-athletes receiving scholarships has soared 157 percent," said Director of Student-Athlete Services Gayle Fenton, noting that her staff works with more than 350 individiuals. "Our staff members are extremely dedicated and work very hard to provide academic, social and personal counseling services. We all become vested in our students' future ─ we want to see them succeed in athletics and academics.In essence, we become the students' surrogate parents while they are here."
CSULB has 18 NCAA Division I athletic teams ─ baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's golf, softball, women's soccer, women's tennis, men's and women's track, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's indoor track, men's and women's volleyball, and men's and women's water polo.