INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The NCAA has announced its annual Accelerated Academic Success Program (AASP) grant recipients, with the University of Tennessee at Martin being one of 13 universities to receive aid in the 2022-23 academic year.

The NCAA awards more than $1 million in AASP grants to resource-constrained colleges and universities to help drive academic programs and initiatives, which are tied to the graduation and overall success of its student-athletes. The AASP was created in 2012 by the NCAA’s Executive Committee, which is now the Board of Governors. AASP schools can apply for up to $100,000 in grants for one year, as schools are required to contribute at least 20% of the funds and provide a detailed explanation of how the funds will be used.

This year’s AASP grant recipients are Austin Peay State University, California State University Northridge, Cleveland State University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Indiana State University, Nicholls State University, Norfolk State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Saint Peter’s University , Tennessee State University, Texas Southern University and UT Martin.

The Skyhawks are one of 10 schools that are grant recipients, as UT Martin also received a $100,000 grant through the AASP initiative in July 2019. The Skyhawk Athletic Department will receive $75,373 in the grant from this year, which will be used for ongoing academic support. , equipment updates and continue to emphasize the mental health aspect of student-athlete life. Both grants were written by the Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations Ashley Bynum.

“I am grateful for the opportunity provided by the NCAA to fund additional resources and services for our student-athletes,” said 2013 UT Martin graduate Bynum. “We have received this award once before which has allowed us to begin our recent record streak of highest GPA over the past five semesters. We have had documented success with this award in the past and I am confident that the award will have just as much of an impact.”

The initial AASP grant the Skyhawks received was used to build a state-of-the-art computer lab in the main athletics hall. Opened in October 2019, the spacious room has 18 computers and is open during all lab hours. The area is commonly used for various team study hours and provides a co-working space that also offers supplies, nutritional snacks, and beverages in a comfortable common area.

As a direct result, UT Martin’s academic support staff has seen a significant increase in the GPA of its student-athletes. The upward trend started in the Spring 2020 semester with a GPA of 3.26 and improved to a GPA of 3.28 in the Fall of 2020. Skyhawk student-athletes produced a GPA of 3.29 in spring 2021 before a GPA of 3.31 in fall 2021 and a GPA of 3.33 in spring 2022.

“I can’t thank my support staff and the grants department enough for their help with the proposal and the work they will do to make it a reality on campus,” Bynum said. “Our student-athletes deserve the best and I hope it makes a difference in their college careers while they enroll at UT Martin.”

To see the full NCAA press release, click the link above.

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