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Revised CAS Standards for Academic Advising and Orientation Programs Approved and Released

CAS recently approved the revision of its Academic Advising Programs (AAP) and Orientation Programs (OP) Standards and Guidelines.
Washington, D.C. The Council for the Advancement of Stan­dards in Higher Education (CAS) has released revised standards to provide direction for two functional areas in higher education. CAS, composed of 39 collaborating professional associations representing over 100,000 professionals in higher education, recently approved the revision of its Academic Advising Programs (AAP) and Orientation Programs (OP) Standards and Guidelines. These CAS publications and other materials can be ordered at www.cas.edu.

Dan Bureau, who represents the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) on the CAS Board of Directors, chaired the AAP standards revision committee. “Academic advisors work tirelessly to support student learning and success. The revision of the CAS Standards for this functional area comes at a time when advisors are increasingly called to demonstrate their function and contribution,” Bureau explained. “We hope the new standards can be used to develop a framework for exceptional practice in academic advising.”

“The CAS academic advising standards were developed by a CAS member committee and endorsed by NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising,” said Marsha Miller, NACADA's Assistant Director for Resources and Services and expert member of the revision committee. “It is important to note that while members of NACADA contributed to the CAS Academic Advising Standards, a vital component of the standard's strength is the fact that the standards were vetted and published by a third party – CAS, which has a long and respected history in the student affairs profession.”

Ann Hower, Director of the Office of New Student Programs at the University of Michigan, explained, “The revised OP standards reflect the significant contribution of orientation programs to the recruitment, acculturation and retention of students.” Hower was the expert committee member for the revision of the OP Standards, and she represents NODA: Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education on the CAS Board of Directors. “One of the most important changes seen over the past several decades is that orientation is now viewed as a comprehensive process rather than as a singular program,” she said.

“Orientation programs are typically campus and community endeavors that involve staff and faculty from multiple departments and our off-campus partners,” OP revision committee chairperson Deb Boykin said. “It is critical that Orientation staff provide sound leadership to their programs and these revised standards will serve as a guide to this complex process. Ultimately new students, their families, and the institution will benefit from these standards,” she concluded. Boykin serves as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Residence Life at The College of William and Mary, and she represents the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I) on the CAS Board of Directors.

CAS was established in 1979 to develop standards that promote college student learning and self-assessment for institutional effectiveness. There are now 43 CAS Standards in diverse areas of the college student experiences.

The revised standards and guidelines are available from the online store at www.cas.edu, as supplements to the most recent book published by CAS. The eighth edition of the CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education was released in August 2012. The book of standards is the defining source of professional standards for many of the services provided to students in higher education. CAS publications and other materials can be ordered at www.cas.edu.

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