New England Secondary School Consortium

NCAA Eligibility

Over the past decade, the movement to adopt proficiency-based approaches to teaching, learning, and graduating has gained momentum throughout New England and the country, as more educators, parents, employers, and elected officials recognize that high educational standards and strong academic preparation are essential to success in today’s world.

With some schools wondering what potential impact proficiency-based education may have on their students’ NCAA Division I and II eligibility, the New England Secondary School Consortium reached out to NCAA directly to gain clarity on the matter.

During this discussion, the NCAA assured that the achievement of student-athletes from schools with proficiency-based transcripts will be reviewed using the same process employed for all students regardless of the format of their transcripts.

Below, you’ll find a letter from Nick Sproull, Director of the NCAA Eligibility Center and High School Review, further explaining the NCAA’s stance on proficiency-based transcripts and eligibility.

Dear New England Secondary School Consortium:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is focused on the well-being and life-long success of student-athletes. Supporting college athletes as they work toward graduation is a top priority of everyone involved in college sports, and NCAA member colleges and universities have a responsibility to prepare student-athletes to excel both on and off the field of play.  

Consistent with these beliefs, the NCAA advises parents, K-12 educators, college admissions officers, and the general public that when certifying the initial eligibility of Division I and II student-athletes, the Eligibility Center:

  • Accepts a wide range of student transcripts as long as they meet stated NCAA requirements and provide a full and accurate presentation of the course of study and what a college applicant has learned and accomplished;   
  • Expects school leaders to use the NCAA Eligibility Center high school portal to clearly describe and translate the grading system used by the school to enable the NCAA staff to process and make decisions on student athletic eligibility; and;  
  • Assures student-athletes from schools with proficiency-based transcripts that their learning achievement will be reviewed using the same process employed for all students regardless of the format of their transcripts, provided the school meets the previously-stated requirements.   

Like the New England Secondary School Consortium, the NCAA supports strong academic preparation for postsecondary study, leading to increased collegiate enrollments and higher college completion rates.  

Respectfully submitted,   

Nick Sproull, Ed.D
Director, NCAA Eligibility Center and High School Review

Download the letter from Nick Sproull, Ed.D

Additional resources about implementing a proficiency-based learning system