CAS Introduces Revised Standards for Learning Assistance Programs

CAS releases revised standards for Learning Assistance Programs to provide a universal vocabulary and reflect nuanced aspects of the functional area.
The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education is pleased to announce the release of the revised standards for Learning Assistance Programs (LAP). CAS, composed of 42 collaborating professional associations representing over 115,000 professionals in higher education, has developed standards and guidelines for 45 functional areas, and rooted them in the scholarship and work conducted within their respective fields. The new standards delineate expectations for educators in the related functional areas and complement the ninth edition of the CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education.

Marsha Miller, Assistant Director for Resources at NACADA, the Global Community for Academic Advising, served as the chair of the committee for the revised standards. Miller said of the revisions, “Because learning assistance programs are structured differently at various institutions and even within areas of the same institution, the Committee provided definitions for terms and the individuals who contribute to the success of LAPs. This helps develop a universal vocabulary for a diverse field.”  

The LAP Standards Committee also included members from three other CAS associations: College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), National Association for Developmental Education (NADE), and National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA). Miller shared, “members of each association brought a different perspective and set of experiences to the committee. These various perspectives make the LAP Standards more easily used for program assessment.”

Perhaps the most noteworthy improvement to the LAP standards is reflected in Miller's statement: “The old adage ‘one size does not fit all' was never more true than when looking at learning assistance programs. Rather than laundry lists, the Committee found that it takes ‘simply elegant' language to leave room for all who practice within the field.” Learning Assistance Programs represent an important functional area in the field of higher education, and CAS is proud to have revised standards that reflect their role.

The revised Learning Assistance Programs standards and Self-Assessment Guide are now available at

Please contact CAS Executive Director Marybeth Drechsler Sharp ( or 202.862.1400) with questions and media inquiries.