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 Office of Academic 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.
With the help of Frank L. Christ, the Center started in 1989 led by Dr. Rhonda Atkinson, who established many of the key program offerings of the Center such as tutoring, Academic Coaching, and Supplemental Instruction, and established many of the key strategies that the Center still teaches today.
In 1999 Dr. Saundra McGuire, formerly the Learning Center director at Cornell University, became the director. Under her leadership, the Learning Assistance Center changed its name to the Center for Academic Success in 2001, reflecting its emphasis on working to improve the learning strategies of all students, not just those experiencing academic difficulty, and the CAS role with faculty was expanded.
With the Center since 1999, Melissa Brocato took on the director role in 2009, during which time programming was expanded, the Center's impact was demonstrated through data and assessment, and the CAS was certified as one of the first NCLCA Learning Centers of Excellence in the country.
In 2017, Dr. Gloria Thomas became the Center’s current Director. She brings a wealth of experience in teaching and student support from her past appointments as a chemistry faculty member and an LSU administrator managing STEM student development programs.
Since its inception, the Center has 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, CAS has been the recipient of regional and national awards.
Today, as a NCLCA Learning Center of Excellence, the CAS is composed of two (2) major areas: Academic Support and Academic Empowerment. Organizationally located in the Division of Academic Affairs, the Center employs seven (7) full-time professional staff, five (5) graduate assistants, and approximately 150 student employees, with plans to grow in order to meet the demand for CAS services. CAS’ parent organization, LSU Student Success, also contributes technology, marketing, assessment and administrative support expertise to support the Center’s mission to enhance the learning and teaching experience by empowering individuals with effective, transferable strategies and resources.