Tips for Navigating the NCAA Eligibility Center Academic Certification Process for Online Courses taken through Wisconsin Virtual School

NCAA Eligibility Center Background

NCAA regulations are set by NCAA colleges and universities and require all incoming student-athletes to meet a prescribed level of academic performance while maintaining their amateur status before entering college. The Eligibility Center collects data from high schools, sport-sanctioning bodies, and high school student-athletes in order to make eligibility decisions. The Eligibility Center recognizes that the high school and its employees are an essential part of the certification process.

NCAA Approval Process for High Schools and Providers

For high school courses to be used in the NCAA academic certification process, high schools and providers must go through a two phase approval process. First, the Eligibility Center staff determines whether it is appropriate for a high school or program to establish a list of approved core courses. Second, individual core courses are reviewed for alignment with NCAA core course legislation.

Wisconsin Virtual School (WVS) Approved Courses        

WVS has worked with the Eligibility Center and has gained approval for its own list of approved core courses, and our online course catalog indicates each course that is a “NCAA Approved Course.” If the course is included on the list of approved core courses, the district should select ‘yes’ in response to this item. If the course does not appear on the list of approved core courses, select ‘no’.

School District Applications with the NCAA Eligibility Center

Each WVS partner school district is responsible for working with the Eligibility Center to establish its own list of approved core courses.  While the creation of a list specific to a particular district might prove beneficial to students, as well as for the district in terms of interest in their courses, the creation of this list is NOT mandatory.

After a student has completed an approved online course provided by WVS, the district receives a Grade Report Notification for that course. When it is time for the local school to submit a student-athlete’s Academic Achievement Record (AAR) to the Eligibility Center, they should attach a copy of the WVS grade report. This attached documentation will assist the Certification staff in finding the correct list of approved core courses, verifying that the online course has met NCAA standards, thus expediting the review of the student-athlete’s AAR.

Please remember that the Eligibility Center is required to verify both the academic level of the course as well as each student’s performance in the course. High schools and students should be prepared to provide supporting information about the student’s performance in the course if requested. Additionally, the ultimate responsibility for student-athlete eligibility rests with the local school district and the student-athlete. When selecting WVS courses for student-athletes, special attention should be given to selecting course(s) that appear on a list of approved core courses.

For further information on initiating a list of approved core courses, the NCAA review process, or questions regarding a college bound student-athlete, contact the NCAA Eligibility Center Client Relations Department at 877-622-2321.

WVS Director Dawn Nordine can be contacted for questions specific to WVS courses at 715-453-2141  ext. 231 or dnordine@cesa9.org.