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Esteemed Speaker

Melissa Brocato

Full Bio

Melissa Brocato is Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and past director of the Center for Academic Success (CAS), an NCLCA certified national center of excellence, at Louisiana State University. She has spent 18 years of her 20-year career in education at Center for Academic Success, passionately helping students learn more effectively and think critically.

She has developed and directed initiatives, in collaboration with academic colleges and departments, for tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, metacognitive training programs for at-risk students, and intervention programs for pre-calculus students. She has developed workshops and delivered metacognitive principles to students in transition programs from high school through graduate and professional school, and has assisted in creating an academic coaching program at LSU. Other projects include creation of early warning and intervention systems such as the Early Academic Referral System through MOODLE, and the LSU Academic Intervention Team. Along with her colleagues in the CAS she co-developed content and specific tools to support the teaching of metacognitive learning principles to students and faculty such as the Study Cycle, the Study Group Starter Kit, and Focused Study Sessions.

Through her work with the Center for Academic Success at LSU, Brocato has been able to demonstrate the effectiveness of academic support programs and the teaching of metacognition’s effect on student academic performance, retention, and self-efficacy for all students including those in STEM. Results from assessments on CAS programs indicate a positive impact on student academic performance, including GPA, persistence and degree completion. For example, academic support programs boast a 24% higher first-to-second-year retention rate and more than 30% higher graduation rate for science students utilizing the services when compared to those who do not. Additionally, metacognition programs have been shown to increase first-to-second-year retention rate of at-risk students by up to 21%. Furthermore, students who utilize two or more CAS services have an 86% six-year graduation rate as compared to the overall LSU six-year graduation rate of 65% and a 56% six-year graduation rate for students who do not use any CAS service.