From staff reports
The NCAA has approved Penn College as a provisional member in Division III, the school said Friday.
The announcement came a year after the Wildcats' athletic programs were approved for exploratory membership status in Division III, the first step of a five-year membership process that includes four years of provisional/reclassifying membership.
"We are delighted the NCAA has approved us for provisional membership in Division III," Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour said in a release provided by the school. "The addition of NCAA athletics enhances the overall college experience for our students, supplementing a growing slate of social and co-curricular offerings. While this milestone - which arrives during our Centennial year - should have a positive impact on student recruitment, it also benefits academics, which remains the primary focus for Division III student-athletes."
During Penn College's four-year provisional status as an NCAA Division III member, officials from the NCAA will conduct on-campus visits and require periodic reporting to monitor progress toward full membership.
"We believe this is great fit for Penn College," Penn College athletic director Scott Kennell said. "From the feedback we have received from the NCAA, we know our institution is well on its way to meeting the requirements and standards it takes to be at this level."
Penn College sports
Men's cross country
Women's cross country
Penn College athletic teams will compete in the North Eastern Athletic Conference next academic year. The NEAC includes 14 members schools and four associate members.
As the college proceeds forward with its Division III membership, it is hiring three full-time head coaches for baseball and men's and women's soccer teams. The college plans to add three more full-time coaches over the next two seasons.