Archive for the ‘Grace College’ Category

Kauffman Named CoSIDA Academic All-America®

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Photo of Allison Kauffman and logo attached.

Allison Kauffman was named to the prestigious Capital One Academic All-America® Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Kauffman was one of just five members on the First Team College Division and the only representative of the Crossroads League on either the First or Second Team. The senior forward boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA while studying exercise science.

She leads Grace’s team in both points and rebounds, averaging 17.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Her 13 double-doubles in the regular season were tied for the most in the Crossroads League.

CoSIDA awards student-athletes who have maintained a GPA of at least 3.3. Members of CoSIDA then vote on eligible student-athletes through the district and national levels based on a combination of academic and athletic accomplishments.

Kauffman ranks No. 2 in program history for both career points (1,716) and career rebounds (912). She helped lead the Lady Lancers to a tie for fifth place in the competitive Crossroads League. Grace will play in the 2015 NCCAA National Basketball Championships as the host school from March 18-21. The Lady Lancers can also qualify via the Midwest Regional Tournament, taking on Cincinnati Christian on March 13.

Nathan Brown Earns NCCAA Athlete of Week Honor

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Grace’s track and field team had its fourth member honored as the NCCAA National Athlete of the Week in Nathan Brown.

Brown finished first in the heptathlon at the 2015 NCCAA Indoor Nationals with a school-record 4,580 points. He became Grace’s first men’s track member to win an individual national championship since 2006 and has a strong chance at earning a spot at NAIA Indoor Nationals as a result of his performance.

Grace has now racked up four NCCAA National Athlete of the Week honors in the past five weeks. He joins Mya Brown, Jo Boren and Donovan Graham as national honorees.

The NAIA Indoor National Championships, held in Geneva, Ohio, begin on March 5.

Wild Second-Half Comeback Falls Short in CL Tourney

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Pictured is Brandon Vanderhegghen rising in the second half against Mt. Vernon Nazarene taken by Brook Vosler.

An unforgettable quarterfinal contest in the Crossroads League Tournament ended in defeat for the Lancers on Wednesday night.

Grace (21-10) trailed by as many as 20 points to Mt. Vernon Nazarene in the second half and were even behind by 15 with two minutes to play. And while the Lancers showed resolve down the stretch with valiant comebacks, Grace ultimately fell 92-86.

The Lancers will await the announcement of the NAIA National Championship qualifiers on March 4 to find out their postseason fate. Grace, currently ranked No. 21 in the NAIA Top 25, can still qualify as an at-large. Otherwise Grace will shift its attention to the NCCAA National Championships, held at Grace from March 18-21.

The Cougars (19-12) started the game with the hot hand. Mt. Vernon scored 28 points over the first 10 minutes of the half thanks to sharp shooting. The Cougars, who made 69 percent of their field goals in the first period, opened up a 26-14 lead after eight minutes.

Grace battled back to within five at 28-23 midway through the half, but Mt. Vernon ended the half on a strong note. The Cougars entered halftime on a 19-8 run, claiming a 47-31 advantage at halftime. Grace’s did not make a field goal for the final4:45 of the half.

Logan Irwin’s eight points and five assists and Niko Read’s seven points were a bright spot offensively for the Lancers.

Whatever was said by Grace head coach Jim Kessler in the halftime locker room worked as Grace came out with a purpose in the second half. The Lancers ripped off 17 unanswered points over a 4:00 span to start the second half, chopping the Cougars’ 20-point lead down to 53-50. Brandon Vanderhegghen had nine points during Grace’s charge.

A pair of timeouts by the Cougars in the early minutes of the half did not slow down the Lancers in front of a charged Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center crowd. Grace came within one point after a pair of free throws from Vanderhegghen with 12:06 on the clock, but Grace’s rally ran dry.

The Cougars went on a 17-3 run of their own after Vanderhegghen’s free throws to regain a 15-point edge with less than seven minutes on the clock. Mt. Vernon still led by 15 at 80-65 with 2:02 remaining before yet another near-miraculous comeback from the Lancers.

Stephen Halstead singlehandedly gave Grace hope, ripping off three 3-pointers in a 20-second span to cut Grace’s deficit down to seven. The Cougars were sent to the free throw line down the stretch while Grace traded points with 3-pointers on their end. Vanderhegghen buried two more treys in the final minute, the last of which made the contest a one-possession game at 85-82 with 31 seconds left. But the Cougars made enough free throws to hold on for the six-point win. For the game, Mt. Vernon hit 26-of-32 (81 percent) from the foul line.

Vanderhegghen finished with a team-best 24 points, including 19 in the second half. He also grabbed a game-high six boards and had two steals. Read tallied 17 points with a trio of 3-pointers, and Irwin added 16 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals.

Dennis Williams scored 11 points with two blocked shots before fouling out, Halstead tallied nine off the bench, and Chad Hoffer chipped in five.

Measure of Grace: A Different Approach to Tuition and Persistence

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

With their new “Measure of Grace” initiative, Grace College is working to keep their undergraduate degrees affordable and incentivize student persistence and completion. A few years ago, the college began offering the option to complete all of their bachelor’s degrees as three-year degrees. Now, with “Measure of Grace,” the college is:

  • Reducing the Fall 2015 tuition rate by 9% (compared to Fall 2014)
  • Committing that, starting in Fall 2015, students who remain continuously enrolled will never see their tuition increase above the tuition rate of their first term
  • Offering continuously enrolled students further reductions in tuition (a reduction $500 in the sophomore year, an additional $500 in the junior year, and $500 more in the senior year)
  • Providing free textbook rental (excluding consumable workbooks), with textbooks delivered to the students’ dorm rooms (at an estimated cost of $1200/year in textbooks, this would save each student an estimated $4,800 over the course of a four-year degree)

“We could have just reduced tuition to increase our competitiveness and increase enrollment,” Cindy Sisson, Grace College’s vice president of enrollment, notes, “but we also wanted to reward students for persisting. In fact, the students who came in last fall will get the $500 reduction this coming fall, and the free textbook rentals.”

Grace College already has a tradition of high persistence, with 81% freshman-to-sophomore retention in 2014, reflecting recent gains from their three-year degree initiative.

A Closer Look at Grace College’s Tuition Model

We asked Cindy Sisson about the economics of the new tuition model. She suggests that while there is definitely a cost involved in these tuition reductions, Grace College hopes this will be offset by:

  • Gains in net tuition revenue due to increased retention rate
  • Increased new student enrollment, as both the three-year degree initiative and the “Measure of Grace” initiative place the institution in a more competitive position in its marketplace

At Academic Impressions, what strikes us about Grace College’s model is that (a) it allows the institution to better serve its mission in keeping a faith-based, private education affordable for students, (b) it is a risk, a calculated and creative risk—and intelligent risk-taking is increasingly going to becoming vital to those institutions that will thrive in the twenty-first century; and (c) Grace College appears to have developed their new tuition model with some rigorous and disciplined financial planning and predictive modeling.

Grace College has been researching possibilities for their new tuition model since 2009, and the budget modeling needed was elaborate. They approached the initiative with the readiness to take a risk, but devoted the time needed to do it right. “I had to look at models that compared our best estimate of the final cost to students in a given year to our best estimate of the final cost to students at competing institutions in that future year,” Sisson recalls. “We hadn’t really had to do that before.”

Will it Work?

Rather than adjust the discount rate, Grace College has opted to keep their published financial aid unchanged, and they have not made any resource trade-offs in terms of personnel; they are counting on the new model leading to increased yield and increased retention. The idea is that a strong financial aid package and locked-in tuition with annual rebates will make Grace College even more attractive to prospective students.

It’s not just a shot in the dark; Grace College has been seeing a rise in application, yield, and persistence numbers since implementing their three-year degree option. Now they are hopeful that “Measure of Grace” will accelerate those increases.

Looking ahead to Fall 2015, Sisson notes that the applications are up 16%, the acceptance pool is up 12%, and the deposits are up almost 25%. Anecdotally, Sisson is hearing an extremely positive feedback from prospective students and an unprecedented number of calls from parents wanting to hear more.

Strengthening the Enrollment Management and Finance Partnership

The other thing that is a little rare about Grace College’s approach to planning their new tuition initiative is the extent of partnership required between enrollment management and the CFO. At Academic Impressions, when we ran our 2013 survey of chief enrollment officers – with over 200 responding to the survey from a diversity of institutions – we found that CFOs and enrollment managers who work closely together to calculate net tuition revenue remain a rarity. You can read the findings from that survey in our free report From Enrollment to Net Tuition Revenue: Where CEMs and CFOs Need to Focus.

Reflecting on the past several years of research and planning, Sisson notes, “The close work this modeling required, the collaboration between me and our vice president of finance, looking closely at enrollment and financial aid projections, absolutely strengthened our relationship.”

Looking Ahead

Grace College’s blend of the art of risk-taking with the science of careful budgeting is appealing. They are a college that we recommend watching closely, and we’re intrigued to see whether their model proves successful.

What conversations need to be happening at your institution? Are you looking at alternative tuition models? Are you looking to manage your discount rate?

To see the original articular visit Academic Impressions.

2015 Presidential Scholarship Competition Winners

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

2015 Presidential Scholarship Competition Winners

<<view photos from PSC 2015 here>>

During the weekend of Feb. 13-14, Grace College hosted 155 high school students for its Presidential Scholarship Competition. The competition, held annually, brings finalists to campus to compete for scholarships ranging from $1,000 – full tuition per year.

This year’s winners included:

President’s Scholarship:

  • Alexandra Gandy, Indianapolis, IN

Trustee Scholarship:

  • Asia Weimer, Hudson, IA
  • Erika Combs, Fort Wayne, IN

Faculty Scholarship:

  • Kirsten Mead, Powell, OH
  • Benjamin Fultz, Hagerstown, MD
  • Logan Swartzentruber, Dalton, OH
  • Emily Zilz, Columbia City, IN
  • Hannah England, Metamora, MI

Achievement Scholarship:

  • Jennifer Gonzalez, Macedonia, OH
  • Virginia Willis, Ashland, OH
  • Sydney Burdge, Columbia City, IN
  • Paige Price, Warsaw, IN
  • Jocelyn Quirple, Hagerstown, MD
  • Lauren Rekeweg, Auburn, IN
  • Charlotte Byers, Ostrander, OH
  • Megan Hansen, Lees Summit, MO
  • Julia Kaster, Clinto, WI
  • Alec Carey, Uniontown, OH

McClain Scholarship:

  • Abigail Boswell, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Sarah Manko, Blacklick, OH
  • Susan Negowski, Bath, OH
  • Maryl Gerst, Warsaw, IN
  • Lydia Yurkovich, Painesville, OH
  • Anna Hertzler, Mears, MI
  • Benjamin Tucker, Mansfield, OH
  • Austin Risner, Piqua, OH
  • Josiah Barkdoll, Lawrenceburg, IN
  • Blaze Bowers, Toronto, OH
  • Kelsey Saunders, Grand Haven, MI
  • Andrea Howell, Frankfurt, IN
  • Tyler Stout, Mishawaka, IN
  • Carrie Buhmann, Hobart, IN
  • Kristy Parks, Lawton, MI
  • Noah Osborne, Westfield, IN
  • Grace Smith, Fortville, IN
  • Kaleb Kramer, Ostrander, OH
  • Bejamin DeJong, Hudsonville, MI
  • Lily Van Loh, Lansing, MI


Kessler Named Co-Coach of Year by Crossroads League

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Coach Jim Kessler

Grace’s men’s basketball coach Jim Kessler was named the 2015 Crossroads League Co-Coach of the Year to highlight the Lancers’ award haul.

Logan Irwin, Brandon Vanderhegghen and Dennis Williams also earned honors from the CL for impressive regular seasons.

Kessler shared the league’s Coach of the Year honor with IWU’s Greg Tonagel. Kessler has led the Lancers to a No. 4 seed in the always-competitive league and into the NAIA Top-25 Coaches’ Poll for much of the season.

Irwin was a Second Team All-League selection as Grace’s leading scorer. The junior point guard had a team-best 13.4 points and 4.5 assists per game. He also led all players in the league with a plus-4.5 assist/turnover ratio in league contests, handing out 77 assists with just 17 turnovers in 18 CL games.

Vanderhegghen was Third Team All-League and also earned a spot on the league’s five-player All-Defensive Team for Grace. He produced 10.1 points/game and hit 33 percent on 3-pointers for the season. He also had a team-high 1.6 steals/game average.

Williams was honorable mention for All-League status. The senior center hit 60 percent of his shots from the floor, averaging 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game for the season.

Grace will host fifth-seeded Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Wednesday 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the CL Tournament. The semifinals are Saturday afternoon with the championship to be played on March 3. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to NAIA Nationals.

Kauffman, Peterson Earn All-League Honors

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Allison Kauffman and Kelsie Peterson were honored by the Crossroads League following impressive regular seasons.

Kauffman was a consensus First Team All-League performer for the Lady Lancers, leading Grace with 18.0 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. She made 44 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free throw line during the regular season.

Kauffman scored in double figures in 26 of the 30 games in the regular season and led the CL with 13 double-doubles. She won three CL Player of the Week awards in 2014-15.

Peterson earned a spot on the CL’s All-Freshman Team, picking up the second-most votes among freshmen in the league. The freshman guard was second on the team with 9.5 points per game, hitting a team-best 34 percent on 3-pointers during the Crossroads League season.

Peterson also led Grace’s team with 51 steals (1.7/game) and hauled in 2.9 rebounds/game. She scored in double figures 11 times, including a season-high 19 points against Marian.

The Lady Lancers tied for fifth in the Crossroads League. They earned the No. 6 seed and will play third-seeded St. Francis in Fort Wayne on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals. The semifinals will be Friday night with the championship on March 2.

NCCAA Tags Graham as Prestigious Wheeler Award Winner

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Pictured are (left) Grace coach Jeff Raymond and Donovan Graham. Photo credit: Scott Huck, Cedarville University

Grace senior Donovan Graham was honored as the recipient of the 2015 NCCAA Wheeler Award for indoor track.

The Wheeler Award is the highest individual honor given to a sport by the NCCAA, recognizing one student-athlete for outstanding Christian character, athletic and academic achievement and community service.

Graham has qualified for the NAIA Indoor National Championships this year in both the 600 and 800-meter races. He took third place at Saturday’s NCCAA Indoor National Championships to be named NCCAA All-American.

For his career, Graham has racked up three All-American awards for indoor track and four All-American awards for the outdoor season.

“Donovan [Graham] has been a key contributor to our team since he arrived in campus. Over the past four years he has grown as a person, as a leader and as a competitor,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “He is well deserving of this prestigious award.”

Graham is the third Lancer to win the NCCAA Wheeler Award for track and field, joining Jonathan Rex (2014) and Tim Sprankle (2002).

Grace Racks Up All-American Honors at NCCAA Nationals

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Four All-American honors and one individual national championship highlighted Grace’s track and field teams at the NCCAA Indoor National Championships over the weekend.

Nathan Brown finished first in the heptathlon with a school-record 4,580 points. He became Grace’s first men’s track member to win an individual national championship since 2006 and has a strong chance at earning a spot at NAIA Indoor Nationals as a result of his performance.

Mya Brown was a double All-American (top-three finish) and placed in four events overall. The freshman was second in the triple jump at 35-feet-10 and third in the 55-meter hurdle race in a school-record 8.50 seconds. Brown also ran legs on the 4×200 and 4×400 relays.

The 4×400 relay of Brown, Katelyn McCullough, Jo Boren and Alicia Hertzler met the NAIA qualifying standard in the race and placed fifth on Saturday. They crossed the finish line with a school record of 4:04.53.

Donovan Graham earned the fourth All-American honor of the day for Grace. He placed third in the 800 run in a time of 1:58.49

“It was a memorable weekend for our team and our program. Many people contributed to the success of the meet, including several freshman which is exciting,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “It’s gratifying to see our athletes believe they can perform at a high level and then go out and do it.”

As a group, the men’s team placed 11th out of 22 teams and the women were 10th. On the men’s side, freshman Jacob Brown placed fifth in the weight throw, clearing 48-feet-2.5 for a new school record. The distance medley relay team of Tyler Houvener, Joel Zook, Graham and Nathan Lane missed qualifying for NAIA Nationals by less than seven-tenths of a second, placing sixth in the race.

For the Lady Lancers, McCullough had a personal-best time of 2:21.71 in the 800 to place sixth, and Boren finished fourth in the 400. The duo teamed up with Brown and Hertzler in the 4×200 to place sixth.

Paige Kindig also finished eighth in the pole vault at 9-5.75.

The final indoor meet of the season is the NAIA Indoor National Championships, held March 5-7 in Geneva, Ohio.

Lancers Falter in Second Half vs. No. 12 Bethel

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Pictured is Logan Irwin driving to the basket in the second half against Bethel on Saturday.

Grace’s men’s basketball team missed a chance to sweep archrival Bethel on Saturday, falling 74-70 in a nailbiting contest.

The Lancers (21-9, 11-7 Crossroads League) led by 13 points late in the first half, but strong shooting from No. 12 Bethel in the second half spoiled Grace’s upset bid in front of a frenzied, near-capacity crowd at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Grace led for all but two possessions in the first half in a balanced 20 minutes. Three straight jumpers from Niko Read spurred Grace’s offensive momentum midway into the half as the Lancers grabbed a 24-13 lead after 12 minutes of play.

The Lancers pulled ahead and were seemingly in control of the half with the score 34-21 on a 3-pointer by Chad Hoffer with4:30 remaining. But Grace went cold down the stretch. Grace did not score a point for the final 4:30 of the period, allowing the Pilots (25-5, 13-5 CL) to close the half on a 9-0 run.

Grace was still in front 34-30 at halftime. The Lancers made 44 percent from the floor and held the Pilots to 34 percent shooting, and Grace also capitalized on the Pilots’ miscues by scoring 13 points off Bethel’s six turnovers.

While Grace was still on top by seven in the early minutes of the second half, Bethel’s outside shooting cut into Grace’s cushion. The Pilots finally went ahead at 55-53 with 9:21 on the clock, and the Lancers never tasted the lead again.

The teams traded baskets over the final nine minutes, but Bethel always had the timely response it needed. The Pilots were especially clutch at the free throw line, hitting 15-of-18 for the game and seven foul shots over the last four minutes of the game.

Logan Irwin led Grace’s comeback, converting two tough driving shots to cut the margin to 71-68 with 3:13 on the clock. Grace then made two defensive stops in a row, but the Lancers came up empty on consecutive offensive possessions. Grace was then forced to foul, and the Pilots made their shots in the final minutes.

Bethel’s shooting struggles disappeared in the second half. The Pilots made 52 percent from the floor, 75 percent (6-of-8) from the 3-point line and 83 percent (10-of-12) from the foul line after halftime.

Grace was outrebounded by nine in the game and also took 10 fewer foul shots.

Irwin led Grace in scoring with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Read added 15 points with a trio of 3-pointers, and Hoffer had 11 points off the bench. Dennis Williams tallied 10 points, 6 boards, 3 assists and 2 blocks, and Brandon Vanderhegghen chipped in nine points.

The Lancers will turn their attention to next week’s Crossroads League Tournament. Grace, the CL’s No. 4 seed, will host fifth-seeded Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the first round.