Westchester Community College Athletics Announces ‘Vikings On-Track’ Program
(Valhalla, NY) – In an effort to support student-athletes who aspire to compete at a four-year college after completing their playing career at Westchester Community College, the WCC Athletic Department has unveiled the ‘Vikings On-Track’ Program that will begin during the fall semester. Vikings On-Track will offer current student-athletes the opportunity to pursue their studies in a manner that will allow them to meet the criteria the NCAA and NAIA have established for transfer from a community college.
As the NCAA academic standards for eligibility from community college transfers have become stricter, Vikings On-Track will offer advisement to participating student-athletes regarding NCAA and also NAIA rules, as well as the steps they will need to take if they desire to compete at an NCAA or NAIA school.
“During the last few years, we’ve seen the NCAA change their rules regarding transfer from an NJCAA institution to an NCAA institution in a manner that makes it more difficult for NJCAA student-athletes to achieve immediate eligibility at a four-year school. As we continue to attract and recruit more competitive student-athletes to Westchester Community College, it is important that we offer them every possible resource so they can be in a position to continue their athletic and academic career after Westchester CC. I think Vikings On-Track is a program that will do just that, and our student-athletes will benefit tremendously from this program.” said Director of Athletics Michael Belfiore.
Vikings On-Track will feature not only advisement to student-athletes regarding NCAA and NAIA rules and trends for transfers, but also academic advisement via the department’s V-CASE (Vikings Collaborative Academic Support Environment) program to ensure that program members remain on-track to meet NCAA and NAIA regulations. Student-Athletes who enroll in Vikings On-Track will be required to pursue 30 credits per academic year (either 15 credits during the fall and spring semesters, or the incorporation of winter/summer classes into their academic plan) in order to achieve an Associate’s Degree after two academic years, leaving the student-athlete not only academically eligible to compete – and potentially earn an athletic scholarship – immediately at a four-year college, but also with the maximum number of semesters possible to compete at the four-year level.
“Looking at the rules and trends, it is clear that the easiest way for a student-athlete at the NJCAA level to achieve athletic eligibility for a four-year school will be to earn an Associate’s Degree. This way, they are almost guaranteed to meet the prerequisites to transfer to a four-year school and achieve immediate athletic eligibility. Vikings On-Track will hopefully allow this to happen for as many student-athletes at Westchester Community College as possible. I think a department-wide initiative to promote athletic eligibility at the four-year level is absolutely the best way to serve our student-athletes who aspire to compete at a four-year school, and I am excited to get Vikings On-Track off the ground this fall.” Belfiore added.