The CAS programme is one of the three key elements found at the core of the IB Diploma Programme that allows students to develop breadth and depth within the activities they pursue outside of their academic programme by providing a framework for their co-curricular endeavours.
There are three strands that make up the CAS programme:
- Creativity can link to involvement in the arts but can include other experiences that involve creative thinking. For example, students could be involved in debate or Model United Nations as part of this strand.
- Activity is to ensure students look after their physical well-being. They may choose to do this through individual pursuits such as personal workouts or yoga, or by participating in a team-based activity like soccer or basketball.
- Service sees students get involved with their communities either at a local, national or global level.
Students must have ongoing involvement in each of the three strands throughout their two-year programme, but this ongoing involvement can take many different shapes and forms. It could mean the length of an athletic season or the length of a theatre production including rehearsals. It could also be the length of the term or the entire school year. Students can continue with experiences in which they have already been involved for many many years, or they can choose to try something completely new or a combination of both.
Involvement in the CAS programme is personal and individualized. No two CAS portfolios look alike. And each student works with a CAS supervisor who is there to guide and support them. Students are not required to document a certain number of hours, but they do need to meet seven learning outcomes and complete one project.
An additional benefit of being involved in the CAS programme is that when students apply to universities and for scholarships, they may be asked to provide information about their lives beyond the classroom. The CAS programme and the portfolio that goes along with it allows students to draw on those experiences and for many that is worth its weight in gold.