CAS approves new College Union Standard, announces research grants and symposium
May 5, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. — At the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) May meeting, the Board of Directors approved a revision of the College Union Standard. This revision updates and replaces the existing standard, last revised in 1998.
The revision of the College Union Standard received an unprecedented level of review by experts, the majority of whom were ACUI members. At least a dozen ACUI members offered direct feedback to the CAS committee that worked on the revision. In addition, suggestions for changes to the College Union Standard were proposed during educational sessions at both the New Orleans and Anaheim annual conferences. Ideas from these activities led to significant improvements in the final document. After the CAS committee considered all the input, the final College Union Standard draft drew almost no additional comment, a testament to the quality of the input received. CAS President Susan Komives commented, “The CAS Board applauds the educational and visionary role of college unions in the development of a comprehensive approach to student learning and development. The quality programs, services, and facilities of colleges unions provide the potential of a superb learning environment for college students. The recent revision of the college union CAS standard is testament to the complexity and quality of the work of college union professionals and honors ACUI as a founding member of CAS since 1979.”
The revised College Union Standard emphasizes the union’s role in student learning and community building. In addition, it includes the most extensive statement about environmental stewardship and emergency preparedness of any CAS standard. The College Union Standard is likely to be the model for other standards on these topics. The new standard will be posted online under http://www.acui.org/tools for members as soon as it has received its final review by the CAS editor.
The CAS May meeting also discussed other items of business. CAS approved a revised Student Leadership Programs Standard to reflect current research, trends, and practice in leadership education. The CAS Board of Directors also recognized Bob Rodda’s (College of Wooster) seven years of service as ACUI representative, and welcomed Loren Rullman (University of Michigan) as the new ACUI representative.
Later this year, CAS will be publishing the seventh edition of CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education. It will include the revised College Union, Student Leadership Programs, and Campus Activities standards, updates to the General Standards, and the brand new Auxiliary Services standard. The book can be preordered for $75 at http://www.cas.edu and will be available from ACUI upon publication.
CAS also has announced that it will award research grants in 2009 for projects that seek to advance the use of CAS standards and assessment processes related to program enhancement and student learning outcomes. Proposals must address whether using the CAS standards enhances campus programs that contribute to student learning and are due Oct. 1, 2009. Additional information about proposal submission and the grant process can be found at the CAS website, http://www.cas.edu.
Finally, CAS will hold its second National Symposium on Standards, Self-Assessment, and Student Learning Outcomes in Higher Education, Nov. 15–17 at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel outside of Washington, D.C. The symposium will feature CAS experts as keynote speakers, practical sessions on how to use the CAS Standards (including several first-person success stories), and break-out sessions by functional areas in higher education and by institutional type. The symposium is limited to the first 300 participants; early registration is $375 by the Sept. 30 deadline. Further information and registration materials are available on the CAS website, http://www.cas.edu.