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DI Committee on Academics to provide academic integrity best practices

Committee also weighs in on postgraduate eligibility, transfers

This fall, the Division I Committee on Academics will distribute to Division I members standards of review and suggested best practices for monitoring and preventing serious academic integrity issues on campus.

The resources, developed by the committee and the N4A — National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals, were created in conjunction with the Presidential Forum’s review of academic integrity throughout the past year.

The committee noted that most member schools already have a process in place related to how academic integrity violations are reviewed, both campuswide and specific to student-athletes.

In its standards of review document, the committee endorsed the concept of a campuswide committee that would review academic integrity violations and offered suggestions regarding what school personnel might constitute it. Suggestions include representatives from the office of student conduct, institutional research staff, compliance personnel, faculty and information technology representatives.

The document also suggests different areas such a committee might review, including major and degree selection data, course enrollment and grades, and policies and data for nontraditional courses.

N4A also created a best practices document that provides additional advice on academic support, campus communication and nontraditional coursework.

The documents will be distributed via email and ncaa.org, as well as through presentations. The committee offered other suggestions for distribution, including stakeholder groups like the Faculty Athletics Representatives Association and conference compliance officers.

Postgraduate eligibility

The committee will ask the Division I Council to introduce two pieces of legislation in the 2019-20 legislative cycle that would adjust the academic requirements for student-athletes who transfer and compete after graduation. Current rules require those who transfer to enroll in a graduate program, while those who do not transfer can take additional undergraduate classes or enroll in a certificate or other similar program.

One of the two proposals would make the rules the same for graduates who transfer as those who stay at their original school. The other proposal would maintain the requirement that those who transfer after graduating enroll in graduate studies but provide flexibility to allow the student to enroll in general graduate courses instead of a specific degree program.

Transfers

The committee supports consideration of a moratorium on transfer legislation for the next year so that additional concepts related to an academic benchmark for eligibility after transferring can be explored. The committee will explore academic outcomes for student-athletes who transfer with different grade-point averages, with an element of progress-toward-degree potentially layered into the analysis.

The committee recognized the importance of the issue to the membership but noted several other major topics may capture the focus of the division and could overshadow transfer discussions. Additionally, data from the nearly year-old transfer portal will be available over the next year, and additional study of GPA benchmarks and other academic criteria could be beneficial.

Currently, several transfer concepts have been raised as potential legislation before the Nov. 1 deadline for legislation to be submitted for the 2019-20 cycle. In the event of a moratorium, those concepts could be considered over the next year, as well.

Only the Division I Board of Directors can impose a moratorium on legislation. The board meets later this month.