CAS Releases Revised Standards for Alcohol and Other Drug Programs; Disability Resources and Services; and Housing and Residence Life Programs

Washington, D.C. The Council for the Advancement of Stan­dards in Higher Education (CAS) has released revised standards to provide direction for three functional areas in higher education. CAS, composed of 39 collaborating professional associations representing over 100,000 professionals in higher education, recently approved the revision of its Alcohol and Other Drug Programs (AODP); Disability Resources and Services (DRS); and Housing and Residence Life Programs (HRLP) Standards and Guidelines. These CAS publications and other materials can be ordered at

John Watson, Director of Alcohol, Other Drug, and Health Education at Drexel University, explained that the new AODP standards were developed with experts from multiple disciplines, and “serve as a best practice guide for any area of a college or university that addresses alcohol and other drugs issues.” Watson was the expert committee member for the revision of the AODP Standards. “There is a heavy focus on shared responsibility and the continuum of programming and service provision,” he said. “They represent the current state of affairs with an eye to the future.”

Jean Ashmore, immediate past president of Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and the expert member of the DRS revision committee, said, “The field of disability services in higher education has moved from medically modeled, compliance-based practices to more culturally based campus-wide collaboration and consultation. The new CAS DRS standards reflect this shift and can be used to design as well as evaluate disability offices from an updated perspective.” AHEAD has been a CAS member association since 1981.

“What excites me about the newly revised CAS Standards for Housing and Residence Life Programs is that for the first time we have included guidelines for the development and implementation of living-learning communities (LLCs), along with best practices, and identified outcomes of LLCs for participating students, faculty, and staff,” said Carole Henry, executive director of housing and residence life at Old Dominion University, who served as ACUHO-I's expert representative to the HRLP revision committee. She also highlighted that the new HRLP Standards clarify that, for instances in which private housing developments have relationships to an institution, those private housing developments should follow the CAS Standards for HRLP. “There is no doubt that these standards will be a very useful educational and assessment tool for our students and staff as we strive to provide the best residential experience on our campuses,” Henry concluded.

CAS was established in 1979 to develop standards that promote college student learning and promote self-assessment for institutional effectiveness. There are now 43 CAS Standards in diverse areas of the college student experiences.

The revised standards and guidelines are available from the online store at, as supplements to the most recent book published by CAS. The eighth edition of the CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education was released in August 2012. The book of standards is the defining source of professional standards for many of the services provided to students in higher education. CAS also is releasing an updated CD (version 5.1) of all 43 functional area self-assessment guides (SAGs).