Brandon Cruickshank will lead Class Linked Academic Support. .

The program offers peer assistance to undergraduates in courses that have proved difficult for students in the past. Cruickshank will replace Lon Owen, a biology professor who was the recent program director. Cruickshank begins as director Jan. 5.

Class Linked Academic Support, a key component of NAU’s strategic initiatives for increasing student success, is a collaboration between Undergraduate Studies and Educational Support Programs. As director, Cruickshank will lead efforts to expand supplemental instruction and develop other forms of academic support for students in key lower-division courses.

Cruickshank, who is interested in using technology to enhance education, plans on refining the program and building on its achievements to help students attain greater academic success.

“Throughout my career I have worked to provide many opportunities for success for my students, both inside and outside the classroom. This position will allow me to bring my ideas and insights to the NAU community,” Cruickshank said. “I would like to provide more substantive training for our supplemental instruction leaders and to develop a core group of materials for the leaders to use in a particular course.”

Cruickshank said recent data reveals that students who attend supplemental instruction, a minimum of three times during the semester for a given class, perform significantly better in the class compared to students who do not attend supplemental instruction.

A winner of numerous teaching honors, Cruickshank was chosen as an inaugural President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow in 2008. He received the NAU Teaching Scholar Award in 2000. In 2001, he was a finalist for the NAU Teacher of the Year Louie Award. He also received an NAU Louie Award six times. The Louie Award, nominated by students, recognizes exceptional students, faculty and staff. He began teaching at NAU in 1995.