New CAS Standards for Indigenous Student Affairs

January 25, 2021

The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) is pleased to announce the release of a new set of standards for Indigenous Student Affairs
CAS is a consortium composed of over 40 collaborating professional associations representing over 115,000 professionals in higher education. The CAS consortium has now developed standards for 48 functional areas and 3 cross-functional teams, rooting them in the scholarship and good practice conducted within their respective fields. These new standards outline historical context and standards for practitioners and educators in related functional areas and are new since the publication of the 2019 CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education (10th ed).

The proposal for a new set of CAS functional area standards for Indigenous Student Affairs was written by Cori Bazemore-James, Ph.D., (Seneca Nation of Indians), ACPA Indigenous Student Affairs Network Chair and Director of Retention & Success in the Graduate School Diversity Office at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. In her proposal to CAS, Bazemore-James wrote: “...there is a great need to identify and guide strategies that support Native educational achievement and for institutions of higher education to implement culturally appropriate support strategies.”

The CAS standards committee was chaired by Meg Evans, Ph.D., Program Director at Break Away, and CAS Representative from the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. Evans and Bazemore-James worked with an expert team of Indigenous and ally higher education scholars and practitioners. Significant contributors to the development of the standards and contextual statement include:
  • Robert L. A. Hancock, Ph.D., (Cree-Metis), University of Victoria, ACPA Indigenous Student Affairs Network
  • Saundra Mitrovich, (Tyme Maidu), University of Nevada-Reno
  • Symphony Oxendine, Ph.D., (Cherokee/Choctaw), University of North Carolina Wilmington, ACPA Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Coalition
  • Jack Soto (Navajo/Cocopah), American Indian College Fund
  • Stephanie Waterman, Ph.D., (Onondaga Turtle Clan), University of Toronto

CAS is grateful to this team for their collaboration and for sharing their knowledge and expertise about ways to foster inclusion of Indigenous students at institutions of higher education and to advance student learning, development, and success. CAS is proud to release this new set of standards for an important and evolving functional area in higher education.

The new standards for Indigenous Student Affairs are now available at

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

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