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Wildcats Accepted for Second Year of NCAA Division III Membership

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has approved Pennsylvania College of Technology to advance to its second year of provisional membership in Division III, effective Sept. 1.

The announcement comes following the first year of provisional membership in Division III for Penn College. The five-year membership process consists of an exploratory year and four years of provisional membership. The membership process “includes educational and operational benchmarks that introduce institutions to the Division III philosophy and the best practices of model Division III institutions,” according to the NCAA.

Wildcats advance to second year of provisional Division III membership.
Wildcats advance to second year of provisional Division III membership.

“We are extremely pleased to be moving forward in this process,” said Scott E. Kennell, director of athletics. “There’s a lot of time, work and energy that goes into this, and we couldn’t have successfully completed this first year without the support of our administration and the hard work and dedication of the athletics department.”

The first year of provisional membership focuses on educational and operational procedures in which the NCAA ensures that the institution seeking full membership is in compliance with the Division III philosophy.

The 100-plus-page first-year application monitors the institution’s administrative structure, ensuring that there is a compliance coordinator, faculty athletic representative, senior woman administrator and a Student Athlete Advisory Committee, among other expectations. It also makes certain that the institution is meeting its roster and contest minimums, is compliant with Title IX, has educated coaches and administrators on Division III rules and regulations, and has a firm mission statement and philosophy.

Penn College has hired four full-time coaches (Chris Howard, baseball; Jackie Klahold, softball; Tyler Mensch, men’s soccer; and John McNichol, women’s soccer) and plans to hire two more after the 2015-16 academic year.

In addition to the new coaches, the college has hired a second full-time athletic trainer to keep up with the growing number of student-athletes, and it has appointed Tom Zimmerman, associate professor of psychology, as the faculty athletics representative, who serves as a liaison between the faculty and the athletics department.

The college has approximately 170 student-athletes in 15 intercollegiate sports and is a member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference, which consists of 14 institutions (eight private, six public) from New York; Pennsylvania; New Jersey; and Washington, D.C. The NEAC sponsors nine men’s and nine women’s sports and receives an NCAA automatic qualifier in six men’s and six women’s sports.

Twelve of the college’s 15 intercollegiate athletic teams participate in the NEAC: men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s volleyball, men’s golf, baseball, and softball. The wrestling team competes at the Division III level as an independent, while the men’s and women’s archery team has no affiliation with the NCAA and competes in USA Archery.

The Wildcats athletic teams and student-athletes had an excellent first year in the NEAC in 2014-15. Two teams qualified for the NEAC playoffs – men’s tennis and baseball – while 20 student-athletes earned all-conference honors. The baseball team became the first Penn College team to win an NEAC championship, when the Wildcats went 3-0 in the conference finals in May.

For more about the college, a national leader in applied technology education, call toll-free 800-367-9222.