COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The national office of the NJCAA announced Thursday a record-number 6,006 student-athletes earned distinction on one of three prestigious 2016-17 NJCAA All-Academic Teams following their success in the classroom. Click here for a complete listing of this year’s recipients.
With over 59,000 student-athletes participating in the NJCAA for the 2016-17 academic year, 10.1 percent earned a slot on one of the three highly regarded All-Academic Teams – a significant increase from the last year’s record number of 7.9 percent.
Several changes have been made to the NJCAA’s academic student-athlete awards program in recent years. Prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, the association modified the awards program to allow first-year student-athletes to be considered if they met the criteria of completing 24 semester-hours (or 36 quarter-hours). This change led to the rise in total award winners the past two years.
In addition, this past year the NJCAA simplified the titles of the three honor categories to avoid confusion. Gone are the previous titles of “Pinnacle, Superior and Exemplary Award for Academic Achievement” and replaced with three new title classifications listed below (along with GPA benchmarks):
NJCAA All-Academic First Team: 4.00 GPA
NJCAA All-Academic Second Team: 3.80-3.99 GPA
NJCAA All-Academic Third Team: 3.60-3.79 GPA
A total of 1,333 student-athletes qualified for First Team accolades (4.0 GPA), shattering the previous record of 663 set last year. New records were also established in the other two award designations as 1,992 student-athletes earned Second Team honors and a total of 2,681 individuals qualified for inclusion on the Third Team.
Iowa Western received the highest number of honorees for an individual college with 62 award winners. Butler (KS) was second with 58 recipients followed by Barton (KS) with 55.
For the second consecutive year, NJCAA Region 6 – consisting of member colleges in the state of Kansas – claimed the most award winners with 709.
The NJCAA has been annually recognizing the academic success of its student-athletes since 1983.