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How Inter-Terms are Treated for Certification

December 08, 2015

A number of schools hold inter-term sessions between regularly scheduled terms. These inter-term sessions can be designated in a few different ways when it comes to certification of student-athlete eligibility. A school may attach the inter-term to the first term or the second term of the academic year, effectively extending one of the two terms through the inter-term. The school may also choose to let the inter-term stand-alone without designation. Designating whether the inter-term is to stand-alone or be attached to the first or second term only tells a school when certification of students should take place. This designation does not extend the first or second terms when considering the 12-hour rule. The chart below breaks down when certification is to take place depending on the designation of the inter-term and how eligible and ineligible students are treated in the process.

 

Inter-Term Attached to First Term

Inter-Term Stands Alone

Inter-Term Attached to Second Term

Certification takes place

At the conclusion of the inter-term & and the conclusion of the second term

At the conclusion of the first term, at the conclusion of the inter-term and the conclusion of the second term

At the conclusion of the first term & the conclusion of the second term

Inter-term can be used to reestablish eligibility lost in first term

Yes, because certification will not take place until the conclusion of the inter-term

Yes, because certification takes place after first term and inter-term

No, because certification takes place after the conclusion of the first term

A student who loses eligibility during the first term can play through the inter-term

Yes, if they do not reestablish eligibility during the inter-term they will be ineligible upon certification post inter-term

No, but may reestablish eligibility during inter-term and be recertified at conclusion of inter-term

No, the student will be ineligible through the conclusion of the second term

Number of days after the end of the term to turn in eligibility certificate

21 days after the conclusion of the inter-term. Certificate must be turned in before 1st competition after the 21 day mark

21 days after the conclusion of the first term and 21 days after the conclusion of the inter-term. Certificate must be turned in before 1st competition after the 21 day mark

21 days after the conclusion of the first term. Certificate must be turned in before 1st competition after the 21 day mark

Case Study

Situation: A student attends an institution that designates the inter-term as being attached to the fall term. The student is enrolled in 9 institutional credit hours in the fall term and 3 institutional credit hours in the inter-term. Because the school attaches the inter-term to the fall term, extending the fall term, is this student eligible to participate in the fall because the student is enrolled in a total of 12 institutional credit hours for the fall and inter-terms combined?

Analysis: No, the student is ineligible for competition in the fall. The attachment of the inter-term to the fall term only designates when a school will conduct certification of its students. The attachment does not extend the fall term when referring to eligibility requirements. In this case, the student is seen as a part-time student and therefore ineligible to participate in the fall term. Because the school attaches the inter-term to the fall term, this student may not regain eligibility until the school conducts certification at the end of the inter-term.

 

Situation: A basketball student-athlete is eligible at the start of the fall term. Unfortunately, the student fails one course leaving them 3 hours short of meeting the 24-hour rule. When is the student no longer eligible to participate in basketball games?

Analysis: The time at which the student must stop competing will be determined by the designation of the inter-term by the institution. If the institution attaches the inter-term to the first term, then the student would be eligible through the end of the inter-term and the student could use the inter-term to make up the 3 hours they were short to retain eligibility for the second term. If the student does not make up the 3 hours during the inter-term they would be ineligible upon the review of eligibility following the conclusion of the inter-term.  If the institution attached the inter-term to the second term, the student would be ineligible immediately upon review of the first term grades when the certification is sent to the conference. The student would not be able to regain eligibility until the conclusion of the spring term. For inter-terms that stand alone, the student would be ineligible upon evaluation of eligibility after the fall term, but would be able to regain eligibility if they completed the 3 hours needed during the inter-term since certification is done after the first term and after the inter-term.

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NAIA Year-End Report Guide
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ECP Manual
A comprehensive resource for using the Eligibility Certificate Processing Software.