History of the NJCAA

The movement to form a unique sports association dedicated to America’s two-year colleges arose in 1937 when several track and field coaches gathered in Fresno, California. A year later, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rejected a petition from 13 two-year colleges in California to grant their teams and athletes permission to compete at the NCAA Track & Field Championships.

In the spring of 1938, following the NCAA’s rejection, those same 13 two-year colleges gathered again in Fresno to organize and form an association that would promote and supervise a national athletics program exclusively for junior and community colleges…and the rest is history.

On May 14, 1938, the first constitution of the National Junior College Athletic Association was accepted by its charter members and the organization held its first national championship event a year later in May 1939. 

The NJCAA has played a vital role in collegiate athletics for the past eight decades and continues to be the leader in championing academic and athletic opportunities for student-athletes. This section of the association's website is dedicated to celebrating the NJCAA's rich history and tradition as the national governing body of two-year college athletics.

Complete NJCAA History (1937-Present) - PDF 

Divisional Structure

Competitive sport divisions were launched by the NJCAA in the early 1990's due to the growth and popularity of several sports. In order for a sport to be granted divisional status, member college participation in the sport must meet the divisional structure guidelines published in the NJCAA bylaws.

Member colleges of the NJCAA are permitted to participate in any division of a sponsored sport of the association. A member college is permitted to participate across multiple divisions in various sports should it feel it is in the best interest of the institution. Every two years member colleges are required to declare the sports it will sponsor and what division they wish to participate. During the two year committment period, member colleges are locked into the divisions they declared. 

Competing within a specific division of an NJCAA sponsored sport comes with specific policies and guidelines published in the NJCAA bylaws. Below are the current scholarship parameters for the three competition divisions of the association.

DivisionScholarship Guidelines
Division I Colleges may grant full athletic scholarships (tuition, books, fees, room & board), up to $250 in course required supplies and transportation costs one time per academic year to and from the college by direct route. Each sport has limits on the number of scholarships that can be granted. 
Division II Colleges may grant athletic scholarships, but scholarships are limited to tuition, books, fees and up to $250 in course required supplies. Each sport has limits on the number of scholarships that can be granted. 
Division III Colleges are not permitted to offer any athletic scholarships

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