Resource Released for Implementing CAS in Fraternity and Sorority Advising Programs
The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) and the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) have partnered to release the Functional Area Resource Paper (FARP) for Fraternity and Sorority Advising Programs (FSAP). This resource includes an introduction, brief overview of the FSAP functional area, and provides five distinct examples of how both institutions have used the CAS FSAP Standards.CAS, a consortium composed of over 40 collaborating professional associations representing over 115,000 professionals in higher education, has developed standards for 47 functional areas and 3 cross-functional teams, and rooted them in the scholarship and work conducted within their respective fields. Standards delineate expectations for practitioners and educators in related functional areas, and are published in the 2019 CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education (10th ed), with subsequent updates released online.
The intent of a Functional Area Resource Paper (FARP) is to highlight diverse approaches to using the CAS Standards for a functional area. Dan Bureau, CAS President, commented on the value of the FARP, noting that “Users need tools to help demystify CAS and contextualize how our Standards can be used to best serve the needs of diverse functional area personnel and their institutions.” This resource represents the second FARP released by CAS, following the development of the Women's and Gender Programs and Services (WGPS) FARP in 2019.
The FSAP FARP was developed by a team of higher education professionals, led by CAS President Dan Bureau, Ph.D. (University of Memphis). Team members conducted interviews with representatives from five institutions, reflecting a range of approaches and formats. The team members in addition to Bureau were:
Stephen Hopson, M.A., West Chester University
Nicole Mayo, Ed.D., University of Cincinnati
Pamela Stephens-Jackson, Ed.M., University at Buffalo
Carolyn Whittier, Ph.D., Valparaiso University
Bureau further described the various approaches highlighted in the new resource: “The FSAP FARP showcases examples such as how one program used their self-assessment and program review process to advocate for more resources while another was able to use CAS to develop a plan for creating a new office. These diverse examples can help CAS users from the beginner to the most advanced implement programs and services in line with industry standards and grounded in the collection of data to inform ongoing improvements.”
Carolyn Whittier, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Students at Valparaiso University, explained the benefit of this resource. “Knowing how to use and work with the CAS Standards for Fraternity and Sorority Advising Programs is a critical skill for campus based fraternity and sorority advisors. As a 20+ year fraternity and sorority advising professional, and an AFA Past President, I am thrilled that this resource will now allow easier access for professionals to understand the process of using the FSAP Standards to advance the work of fraternity and sorority advising. Assessment is a key element of success in today's higher education landscape, and CAS provides an outstanding assessment tool that can aid all campus based fraternity and sorority advisors in their work.”
CAS exists to provide standards for the operation of higher education programs and services. CAS has had standards for Fraternity and Sorority Advising Programs (FSAP) since 1986 (revised in 1996, 2012, and currently in progress). AFA has appointed representatives to CAS since 1981. Monica Lee Miranda, Ph.D. (University of South Florida) and Dan Bureau Ph.D. (University of Memphis), currently represent AFA on CAS. AFA's Executive Director, Lynda Wiley Ed.D., explained that "Fraternity and sorority professionals are continually looking for ways to assess and measure programs and services that have a positive impact on the student experience. These professionals are committed to learning from each other, and having this resource is a powerful tool they can utilize to engage in best practice."
After two years of work, CAS is eager to release this resource highlighting diverse approaches to using the CAS Standards. The resource is part of the CAS subscription package and is available for $15 for individual sale in the CAS Store: https://www.cas.edu/store_product.asp?prodid=171.
Please direct all questions and inquiries to the CAS Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The WGPS and FSAP resources are the first and second of several FARPs focused on using CAS in diverse functional areas. FARPs for Learning Assistance Programs (LAP) and Housing and Residential Life Programs (HRLP) are currently in development and expected to be released by the later summer of 2020.