In the newly published CAS Guide (2014) there are 5 stages identified that represent a process and a sequence that can assist you to set up a reliable and flexible structure to frame and build your CAS experiences.

In the initial stage called Investigation you are invited to….. “identify your interests, skills and talents to be used in considering opportunities for CAS experiences, as well as areas for personal growth and development. You investigate what you want to do and determine the purpose for your CAS experience. In the case of service, you identify a need you want to address.” (Creativity, Activity Service Guide 2014, page 18).

In this stage you’re building your self-awareness of :

1)    prior knowledge,

2)    experiences,

3)    talents,

4)    skill-sets, and

5)    your own PLS (preferred learning styles).

I refer to these areas collectively as your “CAS currency” – your unique value, the “what you bring” into a CAS experience, a measure of yourself in a learning exchange.

How do you measure your “CAS Currency” and evaluate yourself in the above-mentioned areas?

The objective of this activity is to promote your awareness of your CAS currency so that you can meaningfully engage in the preparation and investigation stages of CAS.

As you identify your “CAS currency” you are starting to develop your own profile and you are meeting the criteria for CAS Learning Outcome #1 – “Identifying your own strengths and areas for growth” (CAS Guide, ibid. page 14).

 Check the pdfs “My CAS currency” and “a generic list of currencies” (attached).

The questions on the “My CAS currency” focus on your knowledge, interests, talents, skills, and experiences that are CAS relevant so complete this profile or inventory. Complete the details and answer the questions therein.

Look at the visual “most like me” – make your choices and then reflect on them.

If possible connect with your CAS peers and your CAS Coordinator. Share & show your CAS currencies, and look for similarities and differences with your peers. Better still, upload your CAS currency to a collective student profile with your CAS colleagues. This might be done on a virtual wall (padlet) or a google doc.

As a follow-up activity – reflect on the CAS currencies of your peers.

Can you identify a set of potential CAS projects where your CAS currencies might be best put to use?

Can you attach your own “my CAS currency” to a project where you feel that you can most add ‘value’ and ‘profit’?

Your CAS currency will be an important element in your initial CAS interview with your CAS Coordinator, and also a realistic starting point in your CAS Portfolio.

My CAS currency page 1My CAS currency page 2