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Revised Standards Released for Multicultural Student Programs and Services

The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education is pleased to announce the release of the revised standards for Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS). The revised standards and self-assessment guide are now available for purchase.
The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education is pleased to announce the release of the revised standards for Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS). CAS, composed of 42 collaborating professional associations representing over 115,000 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 complement the ninth edition of the CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education.

The revised MSPS standards highlight the follow changes:
1. Emphasis of multicultural affairs staff as expanding scope beyond issues of supporting students of color to addressing the needs of a diverse campus community.
2. Acknowledgement of Multicultural Affairs as both a centralized and decentralized function. There may be one office or a collection of centers, but all of them have a responsibility to collaborate to achieve the mission of Multicultural Affairs departments.
3. Emphasis of the need for the department's staff to support all areas of the institution to increase the cultural competence of staff within each department within Student Affairs and the overall institution. Such efforts strengthen the assertion that cultural competence is everyone's job.

Dr. Dan Bureau, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Memphis, and member of the CAS Executive Committee, served as the chair for the standards committee. He noted, “I am proud of the work we did on these Standards and the Contextual Statement; however, it's vital to emphasize that helping our students learn to live and succeed in a diverse global society is a primary responsibility for all educators. To not help students interact across difference and develop the skills to increase understanding of and appreciation for the diversity all around us would be a failure of all involved in the enterprise of higher education.”

CAS is pleased to release revised standards for this important functional area. As Dr. Bureau explained, “There is obviously more work to be done, but these MSPS Standards, as revised, position this functional area as pivotal to the modern day work we do as educators in higher education.”

The revised Multicultural Student Programs and Services standards and Self-Assessment Guide are now available at http://www.cas.edu/store_home.asp.

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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