CAS - Creativity Action Service
CAS is one of the three required elements in the Diploma Program (along with TOK and the EE) . CAS is often called "the heart of the diploma program."
Creativity: arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
Action: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle
Service: an unpaid and voluntary act that has a benefit to the community and a learning benefit for the student.
All CAS projects should be real, purposeful activities with significant outcomes. CAS projects should include personal challenges that lead to real personal growth. CAS activities should take place regularly throughout the junior and senior year, a few hours each week (doing 50 hours in the month before graduation is not acceptable).
The purpose of CAS is to create 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
- 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.
To successfully complete CAS, you must show evidence of each of the following in your CAS Final Reflection:
1. Increased your awareness of your own strengths and areas for growth
Your reflections should show self-awareness and an honest evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses
2. Undertaken new challenges
Participating in a new activity or sport or taking on a new challenge in an existing activity
3. Planned and initiated activities
You must take a leadership role in at least some of your CAS activities (this could be as a part of group)
4. Worked collaboratively with others
Some of your CAS activities must involve working in groups. This is usually a very easy requirement to meet.
5. Shown perseverance and commitment
Some of your CAS activities must be long term (such as playing a sport for multiple seasons, doing regular volunteer work for the same organization, etc.) Perseverance can also be demonstrated in your reflections by noting challenges that occurred and describing how you overcame them.
6. Engaged with issues of global importance
For example hunger, elderly care, the environment, or human rights.
7. Considered the ethical implications of their actions
This can be a hard one to show, but many activities involve ethical considerations. Any activity where you are in charge of younger children carries an ethical responsibility. But things like team sports or academic competitions do as well.
8. Developed new skills
Or in increased your expertise in an established area.
9. Completed at least one project that combines two of the CAS elements: creativity, action and service
Responsibilities of the student
Students are required to:
- self-review at the beginning of their CAS experience and set personal goals for what they hope to achieve
- write CAS proposals for each activity and submit them to the CAS Coordinator (Mr. Savage) for approval
- collect evidence of your activities and submit to Mr. Savage (see below)
- write reflections after each activity and submit them to Mr. Savage as you complete them
- keep a log of your hours in each category: creativity, action and service
- meet with Mr. Savage a few times each year to review your CAS progress
- write a CAS Final Reflection that shows evidence of achievement of the eight CAS learning outcomes.
Types of Evidence
Evidence can take many forms: Physical or electronic evidence of completed projects, photos, photo collage, theater playbills, sports’ teams rosters, signed Debate/Speech Team Competition evaluations, CAS activity daily diary entries, a form signed by an adult supervisor (not a relative), newspaper article about your project, or Eagle Scout Board document of completion of project.
When writing your reflections, think about the following questions:
- What did I plan to do?
- What did I do? Did I achieve my goals?
- What were the outcomes, for me, the people I was working with, and others?
- What challenges did I encounter? Did I overcome them? How?
- How did I grow as a person?
- What were the ethical considerations in this activity?
- How did this make me feel?
- How valuable was this activity to you/? To the community?
- Anything else you learned from the activity.
Note: You may not be successful in achieving your goals for all of your CAS activities. That is okay. You can learn as much, if not more, from failures, as from successes. Your reflections should be honest and personal - don't just write what you think IB wants to hear.
The hardest part of CAS for many students is the record-keeping requirement. You have to stay organized, and you can't procrastinate. Don't forget to enter your hours into your CAS log. Don't put off writing your reflections. Submit your proposals and reflections to Mr. Savage as you complete them, not all at once at the end of the year.
All proposals and reflections should be typed, and you should keep copies on your computer in case any copies are lost. You must give printed copies to Mr. Savage - don't email them and make him print them for you. Your CAS log could be on the computer or hand written, but if it is hand written, don't lose it!