University of Arizona student-athletes break academic records thanks to CATS Academics

ANNOUNCER: It’s picked off. Arizona with the football. 30, 25, down to the 20. 15, 10, 5, touchdown. Jace Whittaker, his second. How did you end up here
at University of Arizona? Football brought me here. I know, but why here versus
UCLA, or USC, or Stanford, or Arizona State? Yeah I wanted to
get away from home, but once I came and visited
this campus, I loved it. I loved everything about it. I loved how all
the sports arenas were right next to each other. And the history
behind it, the teams that have come through here. And it was just ready for me. LACEY NYMEYER-JOHN:
CATS– which is Commitment to an Athlete’s Total Success– was actually created
in the early ’90s. And it was one of
the first programs in the country that took a
holistic approach to student athlete development. And it was founded
in this belief that the better we can
develop you as a person, the better you’re going
to perform on the field, in the pool, in the classroom,
and in the community in general. [MUSIC PLAYING] ROBERT ROBBINS: How have you
benefited from being here in this incredible facility? Oh man. So it all started with
coming here for football. And that’s what I
thought I was only doing. It was just football. Yeah of course. And being hard headed,
young, and stubborn, I was really gifted with a great
Learning Specialist, Sabrina. A tutor who broadened
my vision of what I was going to do after football. It’s not going to last forever. And we’ve gotten into
many debates about this. And she was just patient. She was patient
and understanding. And her being patient and
understanding made me that way. Once we got him
in and he started to see that, oh these are
resources that I can absolutely benefit from, it
wasn’t too long after that that Jace was
actually texting me saying, when are you in? When can I come in to
get some extra help? And that’s carried over, because
Jace is actually graduated out of the program now. But still he’s in upper division
criminal justice coursework, and he comes to me
pretty regularly. Still coming back. Yeah. He still comes back. In high school it’s like not
too many people are on you. You do the homework
and you’ll be fine. But here they stressed the
importance of academics. You had football practice and
you also had school practice. This was school practice. ROBERT ROBBINS: School practice. JACE WHITTAKER: You come in
here and you’re practicing what you learned today. ROBERT ROBBINS: What
were our statistics? How have we improved? What are we doing? JOHN MOSBACH: This
last academic year was the best academic
year we’ve had in the history of
our athletic program. Our student athletes eclipsed
the 3.0 cumulative mark for the first time ever. So that’s exciting. Very exciting. Yeah. Last spring we had 59 4.0s is in
the spring term for our student athletes. And just generally speaking, in
the spring term and every term, we have close to
60% of our student athletes with a 3.0 in the term. So when you’re looking at a
cohort of 500 higher student athletes, to think that
well over half of them are earning a 3.0
midterm, it was pretty phenomenal to be
able to brag about that, and be able to talk about that. So that’s one of the
metrics certainly that we’re excited about. Our graduation rates
are trending up every year for the past
seven or eight years. One of the metrics that’s
maybe harder to evaluate is just the
student’s experience. Kind of a pitch I
give to recruits is that you can be an
Academic All-American, and you can be an
Athletic All-American. But we’re here to
make you the best version of yourself, the
best person in combining those things. And I think some metric
may be harder to evaluate, hard to assess and track. But I think it’s one that we
very much pay attention to. It matters a lot to us.