The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Council of Presidents is pleased to announce the approval of three institutions for membership in the NAIA, two as active members and one as an associate member, effective Aug, 1, 2013.
The two new active members are Dalton State College (Ga.) and Presentation College (S.D.). Presentation College will be eligible for NAIA postseason play in 2013-14 due to their return to the NAIA from NCAA Division III.
The NAIA also approved the addition of a new conference, the North Star Athletic Association, which includes five members for 2013-14: Dakota State University (S.D.); Jamestown College (N.D.); Mayville State University (N.D.); Presentation College (S.D.); and Valley City State University (N.D.).
The new associate member is University of Antelope Valley (Calif.). Antelope Valley is seeking accreditation and is not eligible for postseason play as an associate member. Associate membership is especially valuable for institutions that are seeking to grow their athletics programs.
All of these decisions will not be official until the close of business at the NAIA Annual Meeting, April 23 at the NAIA National Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
“We are pleased to accept all these quality institutions as NAIA members,” said Les Purce, chair of the NAIA Council of Presidents and President of Evergreen State College (Wash.). “In the past couple of years, we have strengthened the review of membership applications, and we continue to receive excellent candidates.”
The NAIA Membership Committee reviewed each institution’s application and determined which institutions would move to the next stage of the process. Those institutions then participated in a campus visit by a Membership Evaluation Team. The results of those campus visits were reported to the Membership Committee, which then decided whether to recommend institutions to the Council of Presidents for final approval.
Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO, noted that more and more institutions are, like Presentation College, interested in reviewing their options with the NAIA.
“Institutions are taking a serious look at which intercollegiate athletics association best fits their institutional mission,” Carr said. “Our new, more rigorous membership process is just in its second year, and more institutions than ever are inquiring about membership with the NAIA. We think the NAIA has a lot to offer institutions that are seeking high-quality competition at a reasonable cost.”
Under the new process, institutions are only able to apply for NAIA membership on an annual basis. Membership applications must be received in the NAIA office by Oct.1 each year to receive consideration for the following year. Institutions applying to the NAIA must meet membership criteria that include sports sponsorship, accreditation and a commitment to character-driven athletics. The Membership Committee also reviews enrollment numbers, graduation percentages, retention rates, recruiting budgets, total athletics expenses and total athletics revenue.