For student affairs educators, administrators, and faculty looking to use the standards to develop, revamp, or generally improve student learning, programs, and services, the CAS Professional Standards and the CAS Self-Assessment Guides are often the go-to resource. Published earlier this year, the first companion guide to the CAS Standards, Using the CAS Professional Standards: Diverse Examples of Practice provides real-life case studies written by practitioners who have successfully applied the standards in their work. The book is the first joint publication of NASPA, CAS, and ACPA.

On this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Heather Shea extends the conversation beyond the basics of CAS to discuss and how student affairs educators might employ these foundational standards within various student affairs functional areas to improve practice. Joining Heather are editors and chapter authors, Dr. Laura Dean, Dr. Shannon Dean, Dr. Yancey Gulley, Alex Lange, and Dr. Jen Wells.

Please contribute to the conversation by emailing questions before the show to or by tweeting live during the show using the #higheredlive hashtag. We’ll do our best to incorporate questions from viewers (with attribution) into the live conversation.


Episode Host

Heather Shea

Heather Shea

Heather Shea's career in student affairs spans nearly two decades 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 identifies as a student affairs generalist. Heather is currently serving as the director of Women*s Student Services in the Division of Student Affairs at Michigan State University having just completed her Ph.D. in MSU's HALE (Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education) Program. She completed her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Colorado State University in 2000. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heather_shea_


Dr. Laura Dean

Dr. Laura Dean (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a professor in the College Student Affairs Administration program at the University of Georgia.  Prior to joining the faculty, she served as the senior student affairs officer at Pfeiffer University and at Peace College in North Carolina.  She earned her undergraduate degree in English from Westminster College (PA) and her graduate degrees in Counselor Education/Student Development in Higher Education, both from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A member of ACPA, NASPA, the American Counseling Association, and the American College Counseling Association, she was active with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) for nearly 20 years, including service as Editor and as President.  She has been recognized with the ACPA Diamond Honoree and Senior Professional Annuit Coeptis awards, the American College Counseling Association Professional Leadership Award, and the NASPA Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member. Her research focuses on assessment, the use of professional standards, and small college issues. Dr. Dean is a co-editor of the recently published text, Using the CAS Professional Standards: Diverse Examples of Practice. Connect with her on Twitter at @drladean


Dr. Shannon R. Dean

Dr. Shannon R. Dean (pronouns: she/her/hers) is an assistant professor in Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) at Texas State University.  Dr. Dean teaches courses in student development theory, assessment, evaluation, and strategic planning, research methods, and internship experiences in higher education.  Dr. Dean’s current research focuses on multicultural consciousness of undergraduate students, teaching pedagogies, faculty-student interactions, as well as the experiences of new professionals utilizing theory in their practice.  Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Dean’s professional experience includes administrative roles in various functional areas including housing and residential life, service-learning, academic advising, leadership development and civic engagement, and international student life. Dr. Dean is a co-editor of the recently published text, Using the CAS Professional Standards: Diverse Examples of Practice. Connect with her on Twitter at @drsrdean 


Dr. Yancey Gulley

Dr. Yancey Gulley (pronouns: he/him/his) spent 15 years as a college administrator (primarily in the two-year college settings) prior to moving into a faculty role. Most of his professional administrative career was in the area of student affairs. He has worked administratively at several institutions, including: Louisburg College, North Carolina State University, Long Beach City College, University of Georgia, and Athens Technical College. While Dr. Gulley has taught courses at the University of Georgia in Student Affairs, his first full-time faculty appointment was at Morgan State University where he taught in the Community College Leadership program within the Department of Advanced Studies, Leadership, and Policy. He currently serves as an assistant professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Western Carolina University. Dr. Gulley has a long history of advocating for social justice within the educational context through his scholarship, teaching, publications, presentations, trainings, and volunteer endeavors. He has most recently completed a research project focused on the nature of collaboration between academic and student affairs units in the community college setting. Past research endeavors not only contributed the scholarly conversation in higher education and student affairs have led to changes in the academy, including the opening of the LGBT Resource Center at North Carolina State University. Currently, he is researching the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community college students, as well as a collective memory work study on the experiences of White faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Gulley served as lead editor of the recently published text, Using the CAS Professional Standards: Diverse Examples of Practice. Connect with him on Twitter at @YanceyGulley


Alex C. Lange

Alex C. Lange (pronouns: they/them/their) continues to have an impatient, enduring hope for a more caring, just world. They are currently in transition as they begin their PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs at University of Iowa this fall. Alex has worked in a variety of functional areas, including intra- & intercultural community development, student affairs operations, leadership education, and residence life. Their professional and research interests include utilizing overlapping critical frameworks to complicate student experiences and development, how students make meaning of their dominant identities and internalized dominance, and the role of praxis in student activism. They believe that our efforts for social justice must be intersectional, integrative, and interdisciplinary and must be grounded in a complex public love.  You can find them on Twitter at @itsAlexCL or check out their blog for more musings.


Dr. Jen Wells

Dr. Jen Wells (pronouns: She/Her/Hers) is the Director of Assessment in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Kennesaw State University.  In this role, she works cooperatively with staff, faculty, administrators, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness to advance the University’s continuous improvement initiative.  Jen promotes a culture of excellence and continuous improvement through Improve KSU, the university-wide assessment model, and the assessment of performance and student learning outcomes.  She also leads the development and implementation of assessment and evaluation activities for institutional-level projects, including the university strategic plan and quality enhancement plan (QEP).

Dr. Wells was previously the Director of Planning and Assessment in Student Affairs at Kennesaw State University.  She 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 German and History from Albion College, and a Masters in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State.  She is the Editor for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), and facilitated 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 her on Twitter at @jb_wells