Blog

Revised Standards for Women and Gender Programs and Services Released by CAS

CAS recently revised standards for Women and Gender Programs and Services, 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 Women and Gender Programs and Services. 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.

The revised Women and Gender Programs and Services Standards (WGPS) reflect a name change from the last set of standards. The revision committee's functional area expert Rebecca Morrow, who serves as Director of Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator at West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, believes that the “name change from Women Student Programs and Services to Women and Gender Programs and Services... accurately reflects the trend towards problematizing gender, rather than solely referring to an essentialist definition of ‘women'.”

According to Morrow, other noteworthy changes to the standards include, a “greater emphasis of the expertise that women and gender professionals bring to the institutions around key issues, including Title IX.” The revised standards also “more explicitly state [the] importance of intersectional perspectives and situate the work of WGPS in the context of other discriminatory [and/or] oppressive realities.”

The revisions to this set of standards were informed in meaningful ways by professionals from the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA). The committee pursued “the innovative idea of having our [NWSA] experts do their intensive review prior to taking a draft to the CAS committee,” Morrow explained. She noted that “This level of thought and engagement was particularly helpful.”

In efforts to provide context for the role of CAS in WGPS, Morrow offered additional support for the revised standards, “We are just so excited! This document is looked to as a valuable resource within the women and gender centers community, and the updated version, which is truly reflective of current practice, will help us to ensure that others on campus and beyond understand the special role that women's and gender centers play within institutions of higher education.”

The revised Women and Gender Programs and Services 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.

Contributors