UTILIZING THE COUNCIL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF STANDARDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION COMPONENTS AS BENCHMARKS FOR CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMS
The purpose of this study was to examine the use of The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) functional unit standards for Campus Activities Programs (CAP) as approximate benchmarks informing the initial steps in a large, multi-campus benchmarking process. The study was framed within Astins (1985) theory of involvement underpinning the CAS unit standards examined (Miller, 2003). The study also utilized assumptions and principles found in the Upcraft and Shuh (1996) benchmarking model for student affairs.
A survey consisting of 126-items collected campus activities program leader demographic information, commentary and opinions. Thirty two campus activities personnel working at 20 university campus locations participated in the study. Ratings of the applicability and importance of CAS standards statements for 13 component areas produced summary means used for the selection of quality improvement benchmarks.
Personnel rated highly the applicability of CAS standard components to improving the campus activities program as well as the importance the standards provided to work. Approximate CAS benchmarks were selected for the program examined using a gap analysis of the difference represented between the ratings. Findings indicated the CAS standards represent a suitable framework from which staff can be empowered to identify and define quality improvement
benchmarks for campus activities programs. Variation of responses in the study indicated that the component area of Facilities, Technology, Equipment, called for expanded definition and refinement. Further study should explore the role of CAS as a central resource in higher education providing approximate benchmarks to inform benchmarking and the identification of best practice programs, services, and operations in student affairs. Additional study suggested expanding the survey and extension of methods utilizing the CAS standards as a basis for the construction of functional unit quality improvement benchmarks in student affairs.
Advisor:Dr. R. Tony Eichelberger; Dr. John Yeager; Dr. Glenn M. Nelson; Dr. John Weidman
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:administrative and policy studies
Date of Publication:08/30/2005