The Charlotte 49ers Department of Athletics had three teams honored by the NCAA for outstanding academic progress, the organization released on Thursday. The Academic Progress Rate, or APR, released by the NCAA listed Charlotte the men's and women's tennis teams and men's cross country among the programs with outstanding numbers in the country.

The NCAA honors teams that earned multi-year APR scores in the top-10 percent of all squads in their respective sports. There were 954 NCAA Division I sports teams (560 women's, 394 men's or mixed teams) honored by the NCAA for earning Public Recognition Awards.

The Charlotte women's tennis program made the list of honored teams for the fourth consecutive year, while the men's cross country team has appeared on the recognition list in back-to-back seasons. The four-straight years ties volleyball for the longest such streak by a Charlotte athletics program. Men's tennis returns to the list after being the first program honored by the NCAA for outstanding APR scores in 2004-05. Charlotte has had at least one team honored by the NCAA in each of the seven years of the program.

"I am extremely proud of the year our student-athletes had," said Charlotte women's tennis coach Michaela Gorman.

"We stress to them that academics has to be at the top of their list of priorities and this shows that they have listened and value that. We look forward to continued success both in the the classroom and on the court in the future."

"We are very proud of our student-athlete accomplishments, as they continue to earn accolades and be great representatives in the athletic and academic arenas as well as the university community," said Lisa Hibbs, Director of the Athletic Academic Center.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes both retention at an institution and academic eligibility in its calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.

Eight different programs at Charlotte have been honored by the NCAA for outstanding APR scores, with seven earning multiple-year recognition.

 "At the start of every semester I remind my student-athletes that they all start with a 4.0, but it is up to them to keep it," said Charlotte cross country coach Ed Schlichter.

"I try to make sure each and every one of my guys get the attention they deserve.  I ask them to take advantage of tutors and when big tests are approaching to let me know if they need me to switch practice times. Another huge part of our success in the class room is our outstanding Athletic Academic Center that gets our student athletes off to a great start by meeting with them and checking up on them weekly their first semester and throughout their academic career."

The recognized high-performing teams posted APR scores ranging from 978 to a perfect 1,000 over the data collection period. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2007-08 year up to the end of the 2010-11 academic year.

A total of 263 institutions, up 24 from last year, out of 347 Division I colleges and universities, placed at least one team on the top APR list. Another eight schools that offer athletics in more than one division, out of 49 overall within the NCAA, placed Division I teams on the list as well.

In the seven years of the NCAA's academic reform program, 2,946 different teams have received Public Recognition Awards, representing 46 percent of eligible sports teams during that time.  Of that total, 209 teams have received Public Recognition Awards each of the seven years of the program.

Full APRs for all teams will be released June 20.