BAKERSFIELD, Calif.- As substantial increases in Graduation Success Rate (GSR) as monitored by the NCAA continue to rise, CSU Bakersfield student-athletes boast a 70% graduation rate, a 10-percent increase from three years ago.

The most-recent numbers released by the NCAA factor in all student-athletes that entered college in 2009. Of those, 86 percent of student-athletes earned their degree by 2015, a new record for the NCAA.

According to the NCAA, changes to initial-eligibility standards made for the graduation class of 2010 were intended to maximize overall graduation rates while also preserving participation opportunities for minority and socioeconomic disadvantaged student athletes. By 2016, the group of student-athletes includes approximately 1,400 more minority and economically disadvantaged student-athletes when compared to the years prior to the changes. About 1,300 more African-Americans have earned degrees than in the years prior to the initial-eligibility changes.

Several improvements to academic support for student-athletes at CSUB, including the awarding of an NCAA Accelerated Academic Success Program Grant in the summer of 2015 have helped the continued increase in graduation rates. The initiatives through the AASP grant include the renovation of the new Kegley Center for Student Success, ‘Runner Ready life skills program, along with the funding of additional academic tutors and advisor positions.

CSUB student-athletes also recently achieved their highest cumulative grade point average of 3.05 following the spring quarter of 2016 and are graduating at a higher average than the general student body at CSUB.

Information from NCAA.org was used in this article.