As LSU’s central learning center, the Center for Academic Success cultivates academic resilience through metacognitive development. We provide innovative services and transformational experiences that support the entire learning process to advance student persistence and achievement.
As an innovator of best practices, CAS aspires to shape policy and pedagogy to further advance student learning and academic success.
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), Academic Coaching, workshops 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 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. As a result of the recommendation, we expanded hours in the Shell Tutorial Center, added online tutoring, offered additional study strategies workshops, developed Learning Journey (self-guided exploration of CAS resources) and increased the number of Supplemental Instruction (SI) sections offered.
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 and 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, reflecting its emphasis on improving the learning strategies of all students – not just those experiencing academic difficulty. With this change in 2001, the CAS role with faculty was expanded.
With the Center since 1999, Melissa Brocato assumed the director role in 2009, during which time programming was expanded to further serve students, 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 joined the CAS. She brings a wealth of experience in teaching and student support as director of the Academic Achievement and Engagement area of the center 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, the Center is organizationally located in the Division of Academic Affairs and is composed of three (3) major areas: Academic Support, Academic Engagement and Achievement, and the Office of Testing and Evaluation Services. Designated an NCLCA Learning Center of Excellence for a second time, the staff continue to strive fulfill the Center’s mission to enhance the learning and teaching experience by empowering individuals with effective, transferable strategies and resources.
You can learn more about the Center for Academic Success' contributions and achievements by reading our 2018-2019 Annual Report.
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