TITLE: Case-Study: Exception to Progress Rule for Second Term Freshman
Keywords: Season of Competition, Institutional Credit Hours, Term of Attendance, Non-Term Hours, Interpretation Library, Identification.
This week we are going to go back to highlighting our Interpretation Library and explain a nuanced exception to the progress rule. The Interpretation Library is Legislative Services attempt to provide as much clarity as possible in regards to our bylaws. There are times that our bylaws are gray and the NEC, being the governing body of our bylaws, has the ability to provide interpretations in these times. We have gathered many of these interpretations and are posting them in the Library for your convenience. We have written about the progress rule on numerous occasions over the years and if you are interested in some of those briefs please see the links below.
- This brief provides some FAQs for the exception that we will be addressing in more detail today.
- This second brief comes from 2016 and does an excellent job of illustrating how the progress rule is applied and what hours can be used.
- The third brief explains how inter-term hours can be used to help a student meet the progress rule.
The progress rule requires that students are making continual progress towards graduation. The bylaw in its entirety is below for your convenience. Today though, we are going to focus on the one and only exception to the progress rule. The exception allows a freshman who initially identifies after the fall term and competes in that first term to meet the progress rule for their second season of competition. In order to meet this exception the student must have earned 12 semester or 20 quarter institutional credit hours. The purpose of this exception is clear as we have a lot of students, generally those who have graduated outside of the States, who initially identify and compete after the holiday break. Without this exception it would be almost impossible for these specific students to meet the progress rule for their second season of competition.
Bylaw: Article V, Section C, Item 9.
To participate a second season in a sport, all students must have accumulated at least 24 semester/36 quarter (or equivalent) institutional credit hours. Transfer students shall use institutional credit hours as certified by the previous institution(s) to meet this requirement only for their first term of attendance at a member institution. Thereafter, only institutional credit recognized by the student’s current institution and submitted to the registrar for posting on the transcript shall apply.
EXCEPTION: A freshman who initially becomes identified after the first term in the fall shall meet this requirement by having passed 12 semester or 20 quarter institutional credit hours. This exception shall apply to the second season of competition regulation only.
The exception outlined in Article V, Section C, Item 9 is intended for students who initially identify after the fall term (e.g. winter term or spring term) and compete in their first season of competition during either the winter and/or spring term of attendance. Credits earned prior to the student’s first academic term cannot be used to meet the Progress Rule exception going into the second season of competition.
This exception depends greatly on identification, so we have provided that definition below. The definition is found in Article V, Section B, Item 8.
Identification: Representing an institution in an intercollegiate contest or enrolling in 12 or more institutional credit hours with a minimum of nine institutional credit hours at the NAIA member institution in any given term (excluding summer session) as reported by the institution’s registrar on an official transcript based on the institution’s official census date.
EXCEPTION: An entering freshman shall identify with an institution during the student’s first two semester terms or first three quarter terms by representing an institution in an intercollegiate contest or enrolling in 12 or more credit hours with a minimum of nine credit hours at the NAIA member institution as reported by the institution’s registrar on an official transcript based on the institution’s official census date.
*Assume all schools are NAIA institutions unless otherwise noted. Also, assume that all students have an eligible determination from the Eligibility Center unless otherwise noted.
Mario graduated high school in the spring of 2018 enrolled in 12 institutional credit hours for the fall 2018 term at Ace University. He withdrew from all classes midway through the semester and his official transcript has all “Ws.” Mario re-enrolls at AU for the spring 2019 semester and competes on the golf team. Mario passes 12 institutional credit hours in the spring, can he utilize the progress rule exception for the 2019-2020 season so that he can compete in his second season of competition?
NO! The exception only applies to students who initially identify after the fall term. In this scenario Mario was identified in the fall term even though he withdrew from classes because he met the definition of identification. Therefore, he would not be able to utilize the exception.
Pat, who has never identified at any institution, enrolled in nine hours at Love College in the fall of 2018 and passed all nine institutional credit hours. Pat enrolled in the spring 2019 semester in 12 institutional credit hours and competed on the tennis team. Pat unfortunately only earned three institutional credit hours in the spring. Pat is back at Love College for the fall of 2019 and wants to compete in tennis, can he meet the progress rule exception?
NO! The interpretation above states the student cannot use any hours earned prior to their first term of attendance. In this scenario, Pat only passed three hours in the spring, his first term of attendance, thus he would not be able to use the nine hours he earned in the fall as that was not a term of attendance.
Stanley enrolled in his first term of attendance in the spring of 2019 at First Pitch University. He competed on the baseball team but only passed six institutional credit hours in the spring semester. Can Stanley take six hours over the summer in an effort to meet the progress rule exception for the 2019-2020 academic year?
Yes! Stanley can use hours earned after his first term of attendance to help him meet the progress rule exception. So if Stanley passes six institutional credit hours in the summer, then he can use those hours to meet the exception.
Ramon enrolled in and passed 15 institutional credit hours at Waldo Community College in the spring 2019 semester. Ramon wrestled for the WCC team in the spring 2019 term, his first term of attendance. He is now transferring to an NAIA school for the 2019-2020 academic year and is seeking a determination from the eligibility center. Can he use the progress rule exception even though he was at a junior college?
Yes! The exception does not require that the hours are earned at an NAIA institution, therefore he can meet the progress rule exception.
Stephanie initially identifies at an NAIA institution in the spring of 2019. She received an ineligible decision from the eligibility center because she did not meet the progress rule after being charged a season of competition for an outside league prior to going to college. Stephanie passed 15 institutional credit hours in the spring of 2019. Can she meet the progress rule exception to become eligible for the fall of 2019?
Yes! The exception does not require that the student compete in their first term of attendance. Even though Stephanie did not compete in the spring, she could still utilize this exception by passing 12 institutional credit hours in the spring term.
Please join us at noon central on Tuesday for Facebook live, where Legislative Services will discuss this topic in more detail.
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