As LSU’s central learning center, the Center for Academic Success promotes self-efficacy and lifelong learning by empowering individuals with transformational strategies and resources that foster critical thinking and metacognitive development in order to advance student persistence and success.
To provide comprehensive learning support through innovative resources that inspire the development of lifelong learners. To learn more, view our annual report.
What we do
The LSU Center for Academic Success (CAS) helps students achieve the higher levels of learning necessary for academic success in college and beyond.
CAS offers services such as, free tutoring, Supplemental Instruction (SI), Course Connections (classroom presentations), Academic Coaching and online resources. Students who use our strategic academic support resources increase their GPAs, stay in their majors of choice and graduate on time. This fresh perspective on learning helps students achieve academic success! Additionally, the CAS empowers faculty with instructional support through faculty workshops, in-class presentations (Course Connections) and consultations on implementing high-impact practices to help students increase their academic performance and build critical thinking skills.
Research and Effectiveness
LSU Division of Student Affairs is committed to providing valuable assessment and evaluation. It is a critical tool for improving the quality and accountability of programs and services we offer for students, parents, staff, and faculty.
CAS utilizes both formative and summative evaluation strategies in assessing our programs. The assessments are conducted to provide feedback to CAS faculty and staff so that programs can be continually improved for greater effectiveness. Assessment data are collected throughout the year by a variety of methods, including but not limited to questionnaires, focus groups, grade comparisons, utilization numbers, workshop and presentation evaluation, satisfaction surveys, feedback from students and faculty, and institutional data analysis.
Overall, CAS services have been deemed very effective by students and faculty. Recent analysis of graduation rates shows that the CAS helps students earn their degrees.
The most common recommendation emerging from assessment data is to increase the services available to students; however, these services have been limited due to financial constraints. As a result of the recommendation, we added additional tutorial center and online tutoring options, increased the number and type of study strategies workshops (online and in-person), and increased the number of Supplemental Instruction (SI) sections offered (with available funding) for students.
The LSU Center for Academic Success was founded in 1989 as the Learning Assistance Center, after a consulting visit from learning assistance pioneer Frank L. Christ. Originally part of what is now University College, the Center focused on three main areas: tutoring, study strategies instruction and academic assistance for students with disabilities. Then director, Dr. Rhonda Atkinson, worked with a counselor, three faculty members and a graduate assistant to provide these services.
Over the next decade, the Center provided tutoring for mathematics and science courses, individual study strategy consultations, study skills workshops and a website with learning style assessments and online workshops. In addition, they offered faculty workshops, a limited number of computer workshops and coordination for the LSU service-learning program. In 1998, the unit added Supplemental Instruction (SI), a nationally recognized, collaborative learning program.
From its inception, the Center has focused on academic support for students in need and on helping outstanding students improve learning efficiency. In 1999, the Center appointed a new Director, Dr. Saundra McGuire, formerly the Learning Center director at Cornell University.
In 2001, the Learning Assistance Center changed its name to The Center for Academic Success, reflecting its emphasis on working to improve the learning strategies of all students, not just those experiencing academic difficulty. The Center also shifted from being solely an academic support center for students and faculty at LSU to a nationally recognized center, dedicated to addressing the improvement of student learning at the local, regional, and national levels. Since that time, several CAS units have been the recipients of regional and national awards.
Today the CAS is certified as an NCLCA Learning Center of Excellence and is composed of two (2) major areas: Academic Support and Academic Empowerment, under the direction of Melissa Brocato who began working in the Center in 1999. Organizationally located under the Division of Affairs, the Center now employs nine (9) full-time professional staff, one (1) part-time professional, five (5) graduate assistants, and approximately 100 student employees with plans to grow in order to meet the demand for CAS services. The CAS staff tirelessly works to accomplish the Center’s mission to enhance the learning and teaching experience by empowering individuals with effective, transferable strategies and resources.