The University of Central Arkansas football program earned the award for the top Academic Progress Rate (APR) score in the Southland Conference for the fourth consecutive year.
UCA’s football program, under head coach Clint Conque, had a four-year average of 949 and a yearly score of 916 for the 2012-13 school year. It was the fourth straight year that UCA topped the SLC.
"Our football program has set the benchmark in our conference for four consecutive years," said Dr. Brad Teague, UCA’s director of athletics. "Having the top four-year average in the conference for four consecutive years is a tribute to our student-athletes and coaches.
"It’s also amazing that our upcoming score for 2013-14 is on target to be our best single score yet. I am very pleased with the type of young men our coaches are bringing to UCA and the emphasis which is placed on academics here."
The APR Award, presented by the Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Association, recognizes one institution at each of the 13 FCS conferences that has the highest APR score.
In addition, the association also recognizes one institution from each conference that has improved the most from the previous year.
"Our Association is pleased to present these awards to spotlight one true mission of all FCS programs, embracing the academic progress of their student-athletes, who will become leaders off the field,’ said FCS ADA President Brian Hutchinson, director of athletics at Morehead State University.
"We are happy to continue to recognize the FCS institutions and their football programs for continuing to reach exemplary APR scores."
NCAA member colleges and universities adopted a comprehensive academic reform package designed to improve the academic success and graduation of all athletes.
The centerpiece of the package is the academic measurement for teams, known as the APR, which measures grade points, graduation rates and retention.