Frequently Asked Questions

CAS plays a unique role within the landscape of higher education. Since 1979, we have brought together educators and practitioners from across many higher education associations to develop professional standards. Since what we do is so different, we find people have lots of questions. Below are some brief responses to inquiries we often receive about the scope of CAS and our rationale for the work we do.

Also, we encourage you to peruse the submenus on the left side of this page to find answers to more specific types of questions.

Why does CAS write standards?
One criterion for the existence of a profession is the existence of professional standards to guide and judge practice. Without standards there would be few if any criteria established that institutions and their programs and services could use to judge their quality. CAS was established to develop and promulgate the standards necessary to achieve educational excellence.

What utility do the CAS Standards and Guidelines have for practitioners?
The CAS standards are multi-purpose in nature. They can be used to study and evaluate institutional divisions of student affairs and the various functional student support areas common across institutions. Likewise, they can be used for professional development purposes to ensure that staff members comprehend their roles and functions and develop the level of knowledge and skill essential for good practice. Also, the CAS standards can be used to guide the development of new or enhanced functional areas designed to provide students with additional learning and development opportunities.

Do the CAS standards have utility for regional or other accreditation purposes?
Institutions undergoing accreditation self-studies will find the CAS standards most useful. Because CAS functional area standards are invariably more comprehensive than regional accreditation criteria, a self-study using the CAS standards will provide ample documentation that can be used as evidence of compliance with accreditation criteria.

How are CAS projects and endeavors funded?
CAS membership dues have been maintained at a low annual fee since the Council's inception in 1979. Consequently, CAS has come to rely upon sale of professional publications as its primary source of funding. As a non-profit organization, CAS can accept tax-exempt contributions from individuals as well as grants from philanthropic foundations.

How do I learn about new releases from CAS?
You can sign up to receive CAS updates about standards revisions, new releases, and other efforts. Subscribe here:

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Also, check our helpful CAS videos on our YouTube Channel and playlists.