NCAA Division I Recertification

Spartan Helmet


In 2011, San José State University completed a year-long, campus-wide effort to study its athletics program as part of the NCAA Division I athletics certification program.  Specific areas the study covers are governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, and gender/diversity and student-athlete well-being. 

While academic accreditation is common in colleges and universities, this program focuses solely on certification of athletics programs.  Following a two-year pilot project, the NCAA Division I membership overwhelmingly supported the program and its standards at the 1993 NCAA Convention.  At the 1997 Convention, the NCAA Division I membership voted to change the frequency of athletics certification from once every five years to once every 10 years.  San José State University completed its second certification self-study in 2003.  Therefore, the 2010-2011 self-study was the third in the certification process.

The athletics certification program's purpose is to help ensure integrity in the institution's athletics operations.  The program opens up athletics to the rest of the university/college community and to the public.  Institutions will benefit by increasing campus-wide awareness and knowledge of the athletics program, confirming its strengths and developing plans to improve areas of concern.

The committee responsible for the self-study included former President Don Kassing, former Provost Gerry Selter (Chair of Steering Committee), various members of the institution's faculty and staff, as well as athletics department personnel.  A member of the NCAA academic and membership affairs staff conducted a one-day orientation videoconference with the steering committee and its three subcommittees early in the process (October 1, 2010).

Within each area studied by the committee, the program has standards known as operating principles (OP) that were adopted by the Association to establish benchmarks by which all Division I members are evaluated.  Approximately 6 months after San José State University concluded its study, an external team of reviewers conducted a three-day evaluation visit on campus.  The reviewers were peers from other colleges, universities or conference offices.  The peer-review team reported to the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification.   

The three options of certification status are: certified; certified with conditions and not certified.  San Jose State University's status was fully certified by the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification and was publicly announced in August 2011.

To make the recertification as transparent as possible, the Steering Committee, under the Steering Committee Chair, former Provost Gerry Selter, made the institution’s responses to the Operating Principles available here for review.  This operated as a living document, and was reviewed and revised until its final submission to the NCAA on May 13th, 2011.


Division I, Cycle 3 Recertification Documentation

NCAA Recertification Orientation Guide with Tabs (PDF)

SJSU's Proposed Self-Study Plan (PDF)

SJSU's Proposed Timelines (PDF)

Membership Lists

Certification Findings



Final Revised Self-Study (Rev 7/1/11) (PDF)

The NCAA is a membership organization of colleges and universities that participate in intercollegiate athletics.  The primary purpose of the Association is to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body.  Activities of the NCAA membership include formulating rules of play for NCAA sports, conducting national championships, adopting and enforcing standards of eligibility, and studying all phases of intercollegiate athletics.