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CAS releases new edition of Self-Assessment Guides (SAGs)

In conjunction with the release of the 9th edition of CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education, the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) has released new editions of the CAS Self-Assessment Guides (SAGs). 
In conjunction with the release of the 9th edition of CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education, the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) has released new editions of the CAS Self-Assessment Guides (SAGs). These downloadable assessment workbooks include the standards and guidelines along with a series of “criterion measure” statements used to judge the level of program compliance with the standard.

The Self-Assessment Guides (SAGs) translate functional area CAS standards and guidelines into tools for conducting self-study. Educators can use SAGs to gain informed perspectives on the strengths and deficiencies of their programs and services as well as to plan for improvements. Grounded in the reflective, self-regulation approach to quality assurance in higher education endorsed by CAS, the SAGs provide institutional, divisional, departmental, and unit leaders with a tool to assess programs and services using currently accepted standards of practice.

Many higher education institutions rely on CAS standards and the SAG instrument to conduct comprehensive program evaluations. Speaking about the influence and utility of CAS standards, Martha Glass, Director of Assessment and Professional Development at Virginia Tech explained, “Departments in our division of student affairs conduct program reviews every five years. CAS provides us the resources to conduct the reviews for a wide variety of functional areas, and I know that I can count on the standards to be the current and best practices for us to evaluate our programs and services. Completing program reviews with the CAS standards is comprehensive and invaluable in helping us evaluate where we are and where we need to be and helps departments in strategic planning.”

The 2015 revision to the SAGs reflects updates in content and structure, as well as instructions for the self-assessment process. Each SAG includes the new CAS General Standards and recent revisions to individual functional area standards. The structure of the SAGs has been modified, resulting in clusters of criterion statements, meaning fewer items to rate and a more holistic analysis of key program components. Additionally, the self-assessment process using the SAGs has been clearly outlined and streamlined using a new rating scale, new recommendations for evidence to gather in order to conduct self-assessment, and new items to rate.



For the first time, the complete set of self-assessment guides are now available as a digital download. Each electronic SAG file includes a contextual statement, which gives historical and functional perspective to the area; instructions for conducting self-assessment using the SAG; the self-assessment instrument comprised of criterion statements, rating scales, and evaluation forms for compiling team assessment and planning improvements; and the complete set of standards and guidelines for the functional area.

All CAS materials are available through the CAS online store.

Please contact CAS executive director Marybeth Drechsler Sharp (executive_director@cas.edu or 202.862.1400) with questions and media inquiries.

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