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CAS Releases Revised Standards for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Programs

CAS recently revised the standards for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Programs, available in the ninth edition of the CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education.
The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) has released revised standards to provide direction for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Programs. CAS, composed of 41 collaborating professional associations representing over 100,000 professionals in higher education, has developed standards and guidelines for 44 functional areas, and rooted them in the scholarship and work conducted within their respective fields. The new standards delineate expectations for educators in the related functional areas and are housed in the ninth edition of the CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education.

Since the last revision, the Civic Engagement and Service-Learning (CES-L) Programs standards have been expanded from Service-Learning programs alone. Standards Revision Committee Chair and Vice President of Industry Advancement of the National Association of College Stores, Tony Ellis, believes “The new CES-L Standards broadens our focus beyond service-learning to include the larger field of civic engagement, and provides guidance for effective student learning and program outcomes that balance achievement of both institutional and community goals.” Ellis also states that the new standards offer “better balance in language regarding reciprocal service and benefits to student/institution and community.”

The revisions to this set of standards were informed by a variety of resources including, but not limited to, the following:

National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. (2012). A crucible moment: College learning and democracy's future. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

Osteen, L. (2012). A crucible moment: College learning and democracy's future: A national call to action reading guide. Washington, DC: NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Sponsler, L.E. (2013, Summer). Creating the civic minded campus. NASPA: Leadership Exchange, 8-12.

Sponsler, L.E. & Hartley, M. (2013). Five things student affairs professionals can do to institutionalize civic engagement. Washington, DC: NASPA Research and Policy Institute.
 
According to Ellis, “CES-L Programs provide opportunities for students to implement information and theory from coursework in real-world applications. And the reciprocal benefit of CES-L raises the value and importance of this work for everyone involved!”

The revised Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Programs standards can be found in the ninth edition of the CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education and the revised Self-Assessment Guides. Pre-order is now available and more information can be found at www.cas.edu.

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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