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N4A Program Certification

To apply for N4A Program Certification, please click here.

Click here to view a listing of institutions that have earned Program Certification.

N4A Program Certification assists institutions by identifying the standards that are indicative of programs who maintain institutional control.  Obtaining Program Certification is an opportunity to demonstrate that an academic support unit has the knowledge, practices and procedures in place to assist student-athletes toward their goal of graduation, as well as demonstrate to stakeholders that your support program for student-athletes is run effectively.

What is required to earn Program Certification?

Program Certification entails a 1 to 1 1/2 day on-campus site visit from an experienced and trained N4A consultant.  In advance of this site visit, the institution seeking Program Certification will be required to submit information, as outlined on the Pre-Certification Visit Checklist, related to its academic support operations to the identified N4A consultant.  Upon review of the submitted information, the N4A consultant may request additional information or the arrangement of in-person interviews with designated campus personnel.

Who can obtain Program Certification and what is the fee associated with the certification?

Academic support units at both two-year and four-year institutions that provide a set of services to student-athletes, as outlined in N4A guidelines, are eligible for Program Certification.  Two-year institutions that serve all students, including student-athletes, may also take advantage of this opportunity.

The Program Certification fee for two-year institutions is $1,000, plus the costs of lodging, travel and meals for the N4A consultant conducting the site visit.  The fee for four-year institutions is $2,000, plus the costs of lodging, travel and meals for the N4A consultant conducting the site visit.

What happens once I submit the application for certification?

Upon receipt of the application, the national office will work with the N4A Director-at-Large for Program Certification to identify a consultant for your site visit.  When selecting a consultant, consideration will be given to similarities in institutional size/enrollment, operating budget, number of student-athletes, conference affiliation, etc.  Once a consultant is identified, the national office will connect the primary contact at the institution with the consultant to finalize all details (i.e. travel, accommodations, etc.) of the site visit.

How soon after the certification site visit will my institution receive confirmation of our newly certified status?

Upon the completion of the site visit, the consultant will construct a report on their findings and will make the appropriate recommendations either for successful certification, conditional certification or denial to the N4A Director-at-Large for Program Certification.  This report will be thoroughly reviewed by the N4A Leadership for approval.  Once approved, the national office will send the final report and confirmation of certification to the primary contact at the institution.  Typically this process takes a few weeks.

What happens if my institution is not approved for certification?  Is there an appeal process?

A request for appeal can be submitted to the Certification Appeal Committee.  All relevant materials, including but not limited to: documents, materials and reports from the certification process will be provided to the committee for review.  A written request for appeal must be received by the N4A national office within 15 days of the issuance of the final report.

After receiving Program Certification, how long does that status remain effective?

Program Certification remains effective for a ten year period and may be renewed thereafter.

NOTE:  N4A Program Certified status may be lost or suspended if it is shown that the academic support program at a particular institution significantly changes its mode of operation or is reported to be in violation of existing policies or procedures of its athletic association or appropriate governing body.

Questions regarding Program Certification may be directed to Katie Newman (knewman@nacda.com / 440-788-7474) or Kacie Wikierak (kwikierak@nacda.com / 440-788-7480) in the NACDA office.