HARRISBURG – The “Hawks” of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, will field sports teams in the National Junior College Athletic Association this fall, giving the school’s student-athletes an opportunity to compete on a regional and national stage.
Squads set to compete in the NJCAA are the soccer, women’s volleyball, golf and men’s and women’s basketball teams.
“This change will benefit our athletes,” said Lisa Cleveland, HACC’s athletic director. “They’ll have an opportunity to participate in regional, and hopefully national, post-season play.”
Competing on a larger regional or even national stage gives the student-athletes possibilities of greater recognition in the form of all-American or all-regional academic or athletic recognition.
The move also makes it easier for HACC student athletes to transfer to four-year schools since the NJCAA’s eligibility rules are similar to those of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Cleveland said. In addition, students will benefit from the NJCAA’s tougher academic standards.
HACC will compete against other Division III schools in Eastern Pennsylvania, which is part of the NJCAA’s Region 19, comprised of 32 community colleges and trade schools in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
The move comes during a year when the NJCAA is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The association based in Colorado Springs, Col., boasts 500 member schools in 43 states, making it the second-largest collegiate athletic governing body in the country, behind only the NCAA.