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Revised Standards for Assessment Services - Now Available

CAS releases revised standards for Assessment Services with the help of functional area experts and CAS board members.
The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) is pleased to announce the release of the revised standards for Assessment Services (AS). CAS, composed of 41 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.

Dr. Dan Bureau, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Memphis, and member of the CAS Governing Board, served as the chair for the standards revision committee. He notes, “The recently revised standards engaged a host of experts in their review and revision. These experts, all actively engaged as assessment professionals within the Student Affairs Assessment Leaders (SAAL) organization, provided many great ideas to expand the scope and applicability of the Assessment Services standards".

According to Dr. Bureau, the revised AS standards address “three large issues in the current work of Assessment Service professionals:
(1) who 'owns' and has responsibility for assessment in both centralized and decentralized models of how this function is implemented in an institution,
(2) the fact that the Standards must have applicability outside of student affairs divisions because, in some models, the assessment professional supporting student affairs assessment is embedded within Institutional Research or Institutional Effectiveness departments, and
(3) that as we shift from the rationale for assessment being externally driven to internally valued, there are implications for how institutions should structure these (collaborative) processes."

CAS is proud to release revised standards for this important functional area. As Dr. Bureau notes, "Assessment is a core value of the work of CAS; therefore, these standards reflect not only standards for a department or institutional approach to assessment, but an emerging ethos of attention to ongoing quality improvement across functional areas in higher education. While one might use these standards to improve AS, we should all consider how our assessment mindset (or lack thereof) impacts our work.”

The revised Assessment Services standards and Self-Assessment Guide are 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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