Airing Live on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. ET

CAS, or the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, has worked since 1979 to promote standards in student affairs, student services, and student development programs across 44 functional areas. According to the CAS website: “CAS creates and delivers dynamic, credible standards, guidelines, and Self-Assessment Guides that are designed to lead to a host of quality programs and services.” A consortium of 41 professional associations work collaboratively and continuously to update the standards and promote the improvement of programs and services across Higher Education. The 9th Edition of the CAS publications are due out this month.

On this episode of Student Affairs Live, co-host Heather Shea Gasser connects with the Executive Director of CAS, Dr. Marybeth Drechsler Sharp and CAS Editor, Dr. Jen Wells, Director of Planning and Assessment at Kennesaw State University. They will discuss the various goals and purposes of CAS and how CAS standards can inform effective practice and enhance the quality of student learning and development on our campuses.


Episode Host

Heather Shea Gasser

Heather Shea Gasser

Heather Shea Gasser’s career in student affairs spans 16+ years and five different campuses, and involves experience in many different functional areas including residence life, multicultural affairs, women’s centers, student activities, leadership development, and commuter/nontraditional student services–she is a true Student Affairs Generalist. Heather is currently serving as the assistant director of RISE (Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment), a living-learning community at Michigan State University while also a full-time doctoral student in MSU's HALE (Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education) Program. She completed her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University in 2000. She currently serves as the Director of Membership Development for ACPA-College Student Educators International and blogs for Feminists in Student Affairs. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heathergasser


Marybeth Drechsler Sharp, Ph.D.

Dr. Marybeth Drechsler Sharp is Executive Director of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). She completed her doctorate in College Student Personnel at the University of Maryland (UMD), where she also has served as an adjunct instructor and internship supervisor. Previously, she worked with leadership and service learning in UMD’s College Park Scholars living-learning program, in residence life at the University of Missouri and the University of Central Missouri, and as an executive board member for the Missouri College Personnel Association. Drechsler Sharp was a National Study of Living-Learning Programs research team member and a co-researcher for the Autoethnographic Research Group. She has studied and presented on topics of learning outcomes, leadership self-efficacy, dimensions of identity development, student engagement in living-learning environments, and the motives and experiences of faculty members involved with living-learning programs. Connect with Marybeth on Twitter @mb_joy or at @CAS_Standards.


Jen Wells, Ph.D.

Dr. Jen Wells is the Director of Planning and Assessment in Student Affairs at Kennesaw State University, where she works within the Division to help with assessment plans, act as a liaison to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, oversee the Division’s planning initiatives, and serve as the primary administrator for CollegiateLink. Jen earned her Ph.D. in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia with her dissertation focusing on the psychosocial development of students with the Broader Autism Phenotype. Jen received undergraduate degrees in History and German from Albion College and a Masters in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State. Jen is the Editor for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) and is excited about the release of the 9th edition CAS Book and Self-Assessment Guides (SAGs).  Jen enjoys Crossfit, reading, hiking, and most importantly, spending time with her dog, Max. Connect with Jen on Twitter @jb_wells.