Resource Released for Implementing CAS in Learning Assistance Programs

The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) has partnered with practitioners from three national associations - the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), National Association for Developmental Education (NADE), and the National College Learning Center Association - in the development of the Functional Area Resource Paper (FARP) for Learning Assistance Programs (LAP). This resource includes an introduction, brief overview of the LAP functional area, and provides six distinct examples of how institutions have used the CAS LAP Standards.

CAS, a consortium composed of over 40 collaborating professional associations representing over 115,000 professionals in higher education, has developed standards for 47 functional areas and 3 cross-functional teams, and rooted them in the scholarship and work conducted within their respective fields. Standards delineate expectations for practitioners and educators in related functional areas, and are published in the 2019 CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education (10th ed), with subsequent updates released online.

The intent of a Functional Area Resource Paper (FARP) is to highlight diverse approaches to using the CAS Standards for a functional area. Dan Bureau, CAS President, commented on the value of a FARP, noting that “Users need tools to help demystify CAS and contextualize how our Standards can be used to best serve the needs of diverse functional area personnel and their institutions.” This resource represents the third FARP released by CAS, following the development of the Women's and Gender Programs and Services (WGPS) FARP in 2019 and the Fraternity and Sorority Advising Programs (FSAP) FARP in 2020. 

The LAP FARP was developed by a team of higher education professionals from the partnering associations, led by Patricia Mulcahy-Ernt, Ph.D. Mulcahy-Ernt is a Professor of Education and the Chair of the graduate-level English Education and Literacy Education programs in the College of Engineering, Business, and Education at the University of Bridgeport, the Past-President of the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), and currently serves as the CRLA Representative to CAS. Mulcahy-Ernt comments in the LAP FARP on the value of the resource, “The conversations reflected in this resource paper will hopefully promote continued efforts for self-study and assessment.”

The LAP FARP development team members conducted interviews with representatives from multiple institutions, reflecting a range of approaches and formats. The team members included:

Brook Edwards, M.A., Wilmington College
Jane Neuburger, M.S., Syracuse University
Linda Russell, M.A., Minneapolis College
Laura Sanders, M.S., Valparaiso University
Gretchen Starks-Martin, Ed.D., St. Cloud State University

CAS exists to provide standards for the operation of higher education programs and services, and has had standards for Learning Assistance Programs (LAP) since 1986 (subsequently revised in 1996 and 2016).

After significant development by the LAP FARP team, CAS is eager to release this resource highlighting diverse approaches to using the CAS Standards. The resource is part of the CAS subscription package and is available for $15 for individual sale in the CAS Store:

Please direct all questions and inquiries to the CAS Executive Director (


The LAP FARP is the third in the development of several FARPs focused on using CAS in diverse functional areas. A FARP for Housing and Residential Life Programs (HRLP) is currently in development and expected to be released later in the summer of 2020.