Blog

Revised Standards Released for College Unions: Programs, Services, and Community Center

The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) is pleased to announce the release of revised standards for College Unions: Programs, Services, and Community Center.
 
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. These revised standards delineate expectations for practitioners and educators in related functional areas, and are an update to the standards published in the 2019 CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education (10th ed).

The CAS revision committee was chaired by Carol Miller Schaefer, CAS Representative from the National Association of College Stores. CAS partnered closely with experts from the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) in the revision of these standards. Matthew Ducatt, CAS Representative from ACUI and Director of Academic and Student Services at Florida State University's Oglesby Union, provided expert guidance to the group in aligning research and practice recommendations from ACUI with the CAS standards' focus on quality programs and services and promoting student learning, development, and success.

Ducatt commented on the significance of the revised standards for college union professionals,  noting that “Student engagement and community building have broad implications for higher education enrollment, funding, and overall success of the institutions. Students who actively participate in developing and realizing campus community... enhance their overall educational experience.” Ducatt also noted that the revised standards are informed by ACUI's high-impact practices and address key issues within the profession such as funding models (including privatization, outsourced services, etc), facility design and construction needs, staff training, personal safety, access, equity, and inclusion, and health and wellness.

CAS Standards for College Unions were first developed in 1986, with subsequent comprehensive revisions in 1997, 1998, 2009, and 2020. These revised standards reflect a change in the title of the functional area from “College Unions” to “College Unions: Programs, Services, & Community Center”. Ducatt commented on the name change, noting that the revised title “better frames the role of the college union profession.”

CAS is proud to release this revised set of standards for an important and evolving functional area in higher education.

The revised standards for College Unions: Programs, Services, and Community Center are now available at: https://www.cas.edu/store_product.asp?prodid=130

An accompanying Self-Assessment Guide (SAG) is available at https://www.cas.edu/store_product.asp?prodid=51

Please direct all questions and inquiries about the revised standards to the CAS Executive Director (executive_director@cas.edu).

Contributors