Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. It provides an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the Diploma Programme and helps to realise the IBO’s goal of educating the ‘whole person’. The student is focused on their individual talents and channelling them into the all-important role of being a responsible citizen who has a sense of community on a local, national and international scale.
An individual student’s CAS programme needs to consist of a reasonable balance between creativity, action and service.
- Creativity: arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
- Activity: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Programme.
- Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning outcome for the students. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.
CAS is not assessed in relation to a timeline of hours; there are learning outcomes – as opposed to assessment objectives, which the students have to achieve through their work within the programme.
As a result of their CAS experience as a whole, including their reflections, there should be evidence that students have:
- increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth
- undertaken new challenges
- planned and initiated activities
- worked collaboratively with others
- shown perseverance and commitment in their activities
- engaged with issues of global importance
- considered the ethical implications of their actions
- developed new skills
eight outcomes must be present for a student to complete the CAS requirement. Some may be demonstrated many times, in a variety of activities, but completion requires only that there is some evidence for every outcome.
This focus on learning outcomes emphasizes that it is the quality of a CAS activity (its contribution to the student’s development) that is of highest importance.
Skills Gained on the Course
The CAS programme aims to develop students who are:
- reflective thinkers—they understand their own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth
- willing to accept new challenges and new roles
- aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment
- active participants in sustained, collaborative projects
- balanced—they enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences
The CAS programme indicates many positive attributes about students and it is therefore a significant accomplishment that universities and employers will value.
Learning new skills – you are open to developing yourself in a variety of ways, including practical skills as well as skills such as communication, time management and problem solving.
Experience – you have gained valuable experience for an area that you would like a career in, for example teaching, or PR work.
Meeting new people – CAS allows you to meet people outside of your own immediate social circle and network.
‘Giving something back’ – an altruistic trait, endearing to employers.
Learning more about a cause – if there has been an opportunity to work for a cause that you have a special affinity with, then this can also be of interest to employers .
Teamwork – being an important part of a team or being highly valued by an individual you are working with is very significant.
It is important to remember that all types of employers view CAS and the spirit of the programme as valuable in terms of information about students and their character, complementing the academic data and results.
Keys to Success
- be reflective about what you have experienced in CAS perspectives
- understand the different types of reflection: Process, Critical and
- keep up with current affairs