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CAS Releases Revised Internship Program Standards

CAS announces the release of revised Internship Program standards, now available for purchase as an individual set and Self-Assessment Guide.
The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) has released revised standards to provide direction for Internship Programs. CAS, composed of 42 collaborating professional associations representing over 100,000 professionals in higher education, has developed standards and guidelines for 45 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.

Dr. Eugene Alpert, Functional Area Expert, speaks to the newest changes to the standards, “The contextual statement has been revised to reflect new initiatives and legal concerns in the field of internships. Noteworthy changes in the standards include recognition of the greater utilization of international internships and virtual internships and how they may fit under the revised standards.”

A second Functional Area Expert, Jim Walters, also details the most recent changes since the last revision, “Language [was] updated to be consistent with developments over the past years and to provide additional guidance on risk management, legal issues and increased focus on student learning outcomes.”

The revisions to this set of standards were informed by a variety of resources including, but not limited to, the following:
  • - Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., No. 13-­4478-­cv (2d Cir. July 2, 2015).
  • - Hesser, G. (2014). Strengthening experiential education: A new era. Mount Royal, NJ: National Society for Experiential Education.

Alpert shares, “As internships become an essential part of a student's academic curriculum, issues related to the value of the experience for learning have come front and center. No longer should faculty or staff work in silos to oversee these kind of student experiences without relying upon the expertise of the other to ensure the best possible learning experience---one that also protects the triad of the student, the institution, and the host organization. As legal and labor issues arise and more "gray areas" appear, following a set of standards helps institutions maneuver through the process in a more professional way.”

CAS recognizes that the landscape of higher education and student affairs is changing, and is excited to have the expertise of individuals serving on the CAS Board of Directors who can help to move the standards forward to mirror these changes. Walters shares the significance of internship programs in light of these changes, “There is an increased focus and application of experiential learning pedagogy both within academic and co-curricular learning opportunities. Internships, when well constructed and managed, contribute in significant ways to students connecting theory to authentic real world application.”

The revised Internship Programs standards are available to purchase as an individual set, and as a Self-Assessment Guide, at www.cas.edu/store_home.asp. Please contact CAS executive director Marybeth Drechsler Sharp (executive_director@cas.edu or 202.862.1400) with further questions and media inquiries.

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