The University of New Mexico's Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS) earned certification as a Learning Center of Excellence (LCE) from the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA), making UNM one of only four centers in the nation to receive this distinction.

NCLCA is an organization of professionals dedicated to promoting excellence and recognizing outstanding learning centers in higher education through a rigorous certification process. The mission of NCLCA is to support learning assistance professionals as they develop and maintain learning centers, programs and services to enhance student learning at the post-secondary level.

“This is a wonderful recognition of the high quality services CAPS provides to UNM students,” said Aeron Haynie, executive director, Center for Teaching and Learning. “The screening process for the award was lengthy and thorough and considered the training of our student tutors, the accessibility of our services, and the staff's on-going engagement with the national research on student learning.”

The NCLCA developed 7 major categories and a comprehensive rubric by which all learning center applicants are evaluated. 

The evaluation categories for the screening process include: 

  • Programs and Services 
  • Organizational Framework 
  • Academic Integrity and Learning Environment 
  • Funding, Resources and Design 
  • Staff and Professional Development 
  • Promotion and Public Relations 
  • Assessment and Evaluation

The LCE certification program is endorsed by the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations (CLADEA), and is the only certification program that recognizes learning centers that have a demonstrated history of excellence and have effectively exceeded the professional standards and best practices in the field of learning assistance.

CAPS will receive initial certification for a period of three years (October 2017 to December 2020), and can apply for renewal in five-year increments. UNM CAPS has been listed as an exemplary center on the NCLCA webpage, been provided a plaque for display, and a digital badge for print and digital media.