CAS Update

Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) Update

Jean Ashmore & Ann Knettler-Smith

There is a noticeable trend toward using and/or requiring Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and regular assessment across all aspects of Higher Education, including Disability Resources.  This represents a significant change for many disability offices.  Disability professionals are seeking guidance and standardization to create and assess both student learning and program outcomes.  

Ann Knettler-Smith and Jean Ashmore are the AHEAD Representatives to the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).  They have been very busy providing professional development and consultation on these challenges.  Ann and Jean are pleased to report that they have recently given two keynote workshops as well as a three-part AHEAD webinar series on the use of CAS standards to create and assess SLOs.  They also partnered with Dr. Sally Scott to design and implement an AHEAD member survey (Spring 2016) on members’ familiarity with and use of SLOs.  Data from this survey was presented at the 2016 AHEAD conference and will be featured in upcoming publications. 

As background - CAS, with the input of several AHEAD disability professionals, updated their Disability Resources and Services Standards in 2013 along with the companion Self-Assessment Guide for the DRS standards.  The DRS standards are available to all AHEAD members free of charge through the AHEAD website; a link to the DRS standards can be found in the members’ only section under resources.  There will be CAS-related presentations during the 2017 AHEAD Conference. 

Any organization, Affiliate group, or college/university interested in requesting additional professional development on use of CAS standards, student/program learning outcomes, and program assessment is encouraged to contact Carol Funckes through AHEAD ( or to reach out to Ann ( and Jean ( directly.