NCAA grants Dominican full certification in Division II athletics beginning this upcoming 2011 season

Less than three years after joining the Pacific West Conference, Dominican University of California on July 8 received notification from the National Collegiate Athletic Association that it has been granted full membership privileges by the NCAA Division II Committee. This is the final step in becoming an across-the-board active Division II program.

Beginning September 1 for the upcoming 2011-12 athletics season, Dominican will be eligible for the first time to compete in NCAA-sanctioned Division II athletics post-season competition. Dominican also will be able to participate in the National Letters of Intent program under the auspices of the NCAA.

“We are delighted that the NCAA has recognized our athletics program with this certification.  Our student-athletes will thrive in this new arena,” said Dominican President Mary B. Marcy.  “So many people at Dominican, led by Athletics Director Terry Tumey, deserve recognition for their work on this signal project.”

Dominican successfully completed the “exploratory” and “provisional” cycles of the certification process after applying for NCAA Div. II membership in 2008. An NCAA membership sub-committee visited Dominican in March for an on-campus assessment to determine if the University met guidelines and all benchmarks for full status.

The certification process, mandated in 1993, is carried out to ensure the integrity of an institution’s athletic department and to assist institutions in improving their athletic departments. Self studies are required in the areas of governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, gender equity and diversity and student-athlete well-being.

“It’s important to note that the process is really set for an institution to be evaluated and to get better.  Dominican really along the way had the ability to take the feedback that the committee gave them and have continuous improvement throughout the process,” said Leslie Schumann, Assistant Director of Academic and Membership Affairs with the NCAA. “Dominican understood Division II, the philosophies of Division II and really embraced being a Division II member.”

“This achievement moves Dominican toward its goal of becoming an institution of choice for California, the region, the nation and beyond,” Tumey said. “NCAA certification is reflective of a commitment made by the University three years ago to grow its athletics program and offer Dominican’s student-athletes an exciting new level of challenges and competition. This announcement is the culmination of hard work and determination to push the University to new heights. It is a watershed moment for Dominican.”

Dominican currently has 12 intercollegiate sports – men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, women’s volleyball, softball, women’s tennis and men’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s cross country.

Prior to applying for NCAA Division II membership, Dominican competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and California Pacific Conference. The Penguins won 20 Cal Pac championships, one NAIA Region II championship and one National Small College championship, compiling a total of nine NAIA Region II and seven NAIA Division II national tournament appearances in the process.

In the past two seasons, Dominican’s athletic teams have competed against NCAA Div. I opponents such as the University of San Francisco, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, UC Davis and Sacramento State.