Revised Standards Released for Master's Level Higher Education and Student Affairs Professional Preparation Programs

The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) is pleased to announce the release of a revised set of standards for Master's Level Higher Education and Student Affairs Professional Preparation Programs.
CAS, a consortium composed of over collaborating professional associations representing over 115,000 professionals in higher education, has developed standards for 46 functional areas, 3 cross-functional teams, and for Master's level professional preparation programs. CAS standards are rooted in the scholarship and work conducted within their respective fields, and reflect broadly agreed upon standards of good practice. These revised standards delineate expectations for educators, scholars, and practitioners in related functional areas and are a revision since the 2019 publication of CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education (10th ed).

The CAS revision committee was chaired by CAS Past-President and a CAS Representative from ACPA - College Student Educators International, Gavin Henning. Henning is currently a Professor of Higher Education and Program Director for Master of Higher Education and Doctorate of Education Programs at New England College. Henning commented on the importance and relevance of the revised standards, noting that they “respond to the diversity of programs in today's marketplace.” Henning further remarked that “this set of standards provide guidance to programs on everything from recruitment to staffing to curriculum while still providing flexibility for the various ways programs are being delivered. In addition, programs are expected to be more active in addressing issues of equity and involve students as active partners in their own learning.”

The revised standards draw from the expert contributions of Jacqueline S. Hodes (West Chester University), Peggy Holzweiss (Sam Houston State University), Brenda McKenzie (Vanderbilt University), Case Willoughby (Butler Community College), Steven Tolman (Georgia Southern University), Richard Stevens (Sheperd University), Matthew Shupp (Shippensburg University), Jonathan O'Brien (California State University - Long Beach), and John Hoffman (University of Minnesota Crookston).

Henning was joined by a multidisciplinary team of CAS representatives and volunteers including Kristan Skendall (NCLP, University of Maryland), Stephanie Gordon (NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education), and Kelley Kenney (DeSales University).

In commenting on the significance of these standards, Henning noted that “While not a set of accreditation standards, this set of standards and guidelines outline the key components of academic programs that educate and train practitioners in the field of higher education.” CAS is proud to release this revision to a critical set of standards, providing guidance for the professional training of emerging higher education and student affairs practitioners across all functional areas.

The new standards for Master's Level Higher Education and Student Affairs Professional Preparation Programs are now available at:

An accompanying Self-Assessment Guide (SAG) is available at:

Please direct all questions and inquiries about the revised standards to the CAS Executive Director (