Southern Wesleyan University has been approved for provisional membership in the NCAA after receiving notification from the Membership Committee on Thursday. SWU will enter the final year of the three-year membership process in 2015-16.

“We just couldn’t be more excited with this news!” said Southern Wesleyan University President Dr. Todd Voss. “As our campus has aligned with the quality and student focused expectations of NCAA Division II, we have found increased interest in SWU, stronger support by the community and deepened commitment for excellence by our student-athletes. We can hardly wait for full member status and strong involvement with this organization in the years to come.”

Full, active membership in NCAA Division II is a three-year process, and SWU remains ineligible for NCAA postseason play until the process is completed. SWU will continue to compete for NCCAA championships while playing a full NCAA and Conference Carolinas schedule in 2015-16.

“This positive news today from the Membership Committee continues to add energy to the momentum at Southern Wesleyan University,” said Chris Williams, director of athletics. “I am thankful to the many people across our campus who are making the NCAA DII transition a reality. This transition will continue to enhance our university, our athletic department, our coaches, and our student-athletes as we march toward our goal of full and active membership beginning in 2016-17. We will celebrate this news from the NCAA Membership Committee today and we will again join together as ‘One Body’ to continue to serve our students and our local community by providing opportunities in spiritual development, academic preparedness, and athletic excellence.”

SWU is required to follow all NCAA Division II legislation as a provisional member, including reporting any violations and filing for waivers. SWU will take part in an audit of the University’s compliance procedures during the final year of the process, and will submit an annual report in June for the NCAA’s consideration of granting full membership in July 2016.

The NCAA Division II Management Council will review the Membership Committee’s decision during its July 27-28 meeting, and if no further action is taken at that time, the membership changes will take effect September 1.