Preparing Champions for Life
Baylor led all Big 12 Conference institutions in student-athlete Graduation Success Rate (GSR) with a school-record score of 94, according to data released by the NCAA in November 2020. It marked the seventh consecutive year and the 11th time overall that Baylor led the conference in GSR, which began being reported annually following the 2003-2004 academic year.
Baylor’s score was tops among schools in the state of Texas and tied for 10th among Power Five schools. The University has ranked first or second among Big 12 schools in 12 of the last 14 annual reports.
“Graduation has long been a goal for all student-athletes entering Baylor as freshmen, but it is certainly now the expectation,” Baylor Assistant Athletics Director for Academic Services Chris Johnson said. “The constant pursuit of academic excellence continues to allow each graduating senior to develop holistically and ultimately put themselves in a position to be champions for life.”
GSR tracks graduation rate over a six-year window, accounting for incoming and outgoing transfer students with respect to academic standing and mid-year enrollees. The November 2020 data reflects the six-year span starting with the 2013-2014 academic year.
Seven Baylor programs improved their GSR from the 2019 report with another seven programs holding steady. Baseball, men’s golf, women’s golf, soccer, volleyball and women’s tennis all boasted perfect 100 percent ratings and were best among Big 12 programs in their respective sports, as were football (91) and men’s cross country/track and field (90). Baylor Men’s Golf produced a perfect GSR for the ninth consecutive year.
Baylor Vice President and Director of Athletics Mack B. Rhoades IV said the 94 percent GSR score is a special mark and reflective of a team effort.
“That’s outstanding by our student-athletes, outstanding by our coaches and outstanding by our Student-Athlete Center for Excellence,” Rhoades said. “It’s not like we set an all-time high that was underwhelming. We surpassed what was already a pretty special achievement in 91 percent.”
The GSR ranking reflects the overall mission of Baylor’s Student-Athlete Center for Excellence (SACE), which is responsible for the academic welfare and support of the University’s student-athletes in all 19 varsity sports. Through academic services and character formation, SACE assists student-athletes in their pursuit of academic, personal, professional and spiritual excellence. It is part of Rhoades’ Preparing Champions for Life initiative.
“We are blessed to have this platform to do all we can to prepare our young people to be successful once they leave here in all aspects of their life,” Rhoades said. “A lot of our student-athletes are now getting a second degree or a master’s degree and really setting themselves up to be successful, to be influential, when they leave Baylor.”