Penn State Abington Chancellor Karen Wiley Sandler announced today (Aug. 1) that the college has achieved full active membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III, effective Sept. 1.
“NCAA Division III membership offers our student athletes competitive intercollegiate athletics within a context of academic and personal growth,” Sandler said. “Penn State Abington is pleased to accept active membership in Division III. It will provide our student athletes with the prospects of post-season play and the opportunity for their voices to be heard at the college, conference, and national level through the Student Athletes Advisory Committee.”
The NCAA Division III Management Council and President’s Council gave its final approval last month after the Membership Committee certified that Abington successfully completed the provisional/reclassifying process.
In July 2011, the NCAA approved the college’s petition to accelerate the provisional process by 12 months, which allowed Abington to achieve active status in the 2012-13 academic year. It normally takes four years to achieve active status.
The process to earn Division III status dates back to 2006 when Abington began to add new sports to its roster and improve existing athletic facilities while waiting for the NCAA to lift a moratorium on new Division III membership applications. In 2008, the moratorium was rescinded, and Abington was one of only three colleges in the nation invited to begin the provisional process.
Abington athletics has grown from seven sports to a varsity program that boasts 14 teams. Men’s and women’s teams are fielded in basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer and tennis. Baseball, golf, softball and women’s volleyball round out the athletics program.
Penn State Abington Mission Statement
Penn State Abington prepares student athletes to engage with the campus’ academic and social environment through developing lifelong skills in leadership, sportsmanlike conduct, and athletic excellence. Our program’s focus is on the development of the whole person, and we place student athlete welfare as our highest priority. We promote and reinforce traditional values of honesty, integrity, commitment and hard work as the foundation of our athletics program. We take great pride in hiring coaches who are teachers first and embrace these values.