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CC’s Two Division I Sports Teams Rank Among the Nation’s Best Academically

Colorado College’s two premier athletics programs continue to solidify their spots among the nation's academic elite after earning special recognition from the NCAA for the second consecutive year.

The NCAA honored the Colorado College hockey and women’s soccer teams this week with Public Recognition Awards for achieving an Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the top 10 percent among all Division I teams in their respective sports for the most recent multi-year APR (2009-10 to 2012-13). Both Tiger squads also were recipients a year ago.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. It accounts for eligibility, retention, and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance. Teams must meet a certain academic threshold to qualify for the postseason, and they also can face penalties for continued low academic performance.

The NCAA hands out the Public Recognition Awards each year to teams in each NCAA sponsored sport. The announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the highest APRs.

Tiger Hockey is one of just six Division I men's teams to collect the award this year, joining Ivy League schools Brown, Dartmouth, and Princeton, as well as Merrimack and Robert Morris, in the top 10 percent for their most recent APR. A year ago, CC was the sole non-Ivy League school recognized for men's hockey while Brown, Dartmouth, and Princeton also garnered accolades.

Tiger Soccer, which makes its debut in the Mountain West Conference this fall after eight seasons as an affiliate member of Conference USA, joined Rice as the only two women’s soccer teams in C-USA to earn the award for the second consecutive year. Just one other – Old Dominion – was among the 2014 recipients.

The NCAA publicly recognized 1,049 teams this week – compared to 976 in 2013 – representing 631 women's programs and 418 men's or mixed squads. Scores ranged from 980 to a perfect 1,000 depending on the sport, with the majority of top 10 teams earning a perfect APR.

Full APRs for all teams, including access to postseason play and penalties for low-performing teams, will be released on Wednesday, May 14.