Learning Assistance Specialists (LAS) provide one-to-one supports and services. 

Whether it's figuring out who to connect with for specific supports, simply talking to a great listener who can help you sort out a pressing problem, or dealing with the demands of being a student while maintaining a work/life balance, the LAS team is here to help you. 

We also offer free student success workshops - view our upcoming sessions.

Contact our team directly using the Learning Assistance Specialist (LAS) email:


  • Help with time management
  • Navigating Brightspace
  • Catching up on class work
  • Stress management
  • Budgeting
  • Assignment and writing support
  • Test taking or study tips
  • Group work help
  • Support with complaints or appeals processes
  • And more!

Meet our team


Jeremy (Jay) Bissett

Learning Assistant Specialist

Jay came into the world of education by following his desires to support young adults struggling with mainstream education …. just like himself!

My relationship to learning first blossomed during my time as a student of Outdoor Recreation. I was allowed to explore experiential place-based learning and became excited to dive into innovative approaches to learning. After finding success in my own learning journey I was eager to find a way to support others as well.


After graduation, I found myself working with at-risk youth at an alternative wilderness based high school. This experience solidified my passion for supporting students to build healthier relationships with learning.

Jay has been with Coast Mountain College for the last year in a variety of teaching and student support roles. He is excited to continue learning from the people and the places around him.

Outside of work, Jay will be exploring the rivers, valleys, and mountains by skis, legs or bikes.

Contact Jay at

Rich DerooyRich Derooy
Learning Assistant Specialist, Accessibility Services Coordinator & CCP Coordinator

As a student, Rich loved his college and university experiences and they led to exciting job opportunities primarily in human services positions.  He’s worked for eight different schools and held more than a dozen different positions with Coast Mountain College. He’s enjoyed the variety and considers it a privilege to be part of a student’s journey to a better life. He has two teenagers who have moved on to post-secondary studies and he hardly misses them –“What can I say? I love seeing students set out on a new path with all the opportunities and stories it brings!”

As the Accessibility Services Coordinator at the Smithers campus, Rich helps students with disabilities access customized support toward a positive learning experience. In his other role as Learning Assistance Specialist, he helps any student seeking study skills support. Sometimes applicants write assessments with him to assist with course selection or write “challenge” assessments to challenge a traditional academic prerequisite for entry to a College program.
In his free time, Rich is often on an outdoor adventure -all seasons, all weather with family or friends. He has a passion for human-powered boats and enjoys gardening, reading, and volleyball.

Contact Rich at 

Rachael PozzoRachael Pozzo
Learning Assistant Specialist

Rachael has been working in adult education for over 20 years and is especially passionate about providing support to learners who are returning to their educational journey after taking time to raise a family or participate in the workforce.  She has worked at Coast Mountain College for 14 years and has held various positions in Learner Services and adult upgrading during that time.

Rachael completed most of her post-secondary education through distributed and on-line learning and is excited to see students from Northwest BC and further afield having the opportunity to access most CMTN programs in their home communities this year.  Having experienced the excitement - and sometimes difficulties! - of learning online, she looks forwards to helping students navigate a new learning environment.

When not working, Rachael can be found somewhere on the 80-acre hobby farm she shares with her husband and two young girls.  A large garden and animals from hedgehogs to horses, and everything in between, keep her busy and grounded.  She feels very fortunate to live and work on traditional and unceded Gitxsan territory.

In her role as Accessibility Coordinator, Rachael works with students with disabilities to develop individualized learning plans and accommodations to ensure that there are no barriers to their education.  As a Learning Assistance Specialist, she works with all students to provide study skills supports, planning and scheduling tools to help them stay on track, and a listening ear and connections to college and community supports if she is not the right person to help.

Please feel free to contact Rachael at any time at