CACUSS Strategic Plan (2017-2021)


Our Vision

CACUSS and its members are integral to the transformation and success of the postsecondary sector in Canada. 


Vivid Description

  • CACUSS will provide members with access to leading edge, innovative knowledge and best practices in Canadian Student Affairs and Services and promote education and career development among our membership.
  • CACUSS will engage with stakeholders on priorities related to students in higher education and will be the national/international voice of Canadian Student Affairs and Services.
  • Governments, media, funders, post-secondary institutions, researchers and other associations will call on CACUSS and its members for our professional insight and expertise, seek partnerships with us for their projects, and enthusiastically support our efforts.
  • Student Affairs and Services professionals will be known for illuminating and informing a broad set of issues, working with students, faculty, and community members as boundary spanning change agents.
  • Canadian Student Affairs and Services professionals will engage with CACUSS as an integral part of their professional identity and success. When people think of Student Affairs and Services in Canada, they will think of CACUSS.


Our Core Purpose

To advance the student affairs and services profession in Canada.


Our Core Values

Integrity: operating transparently, ensuring accountability, demonstrating respect for others, functioning sustainably.

Knowledge: contributing to profession; broadening contribution to field and the body of knowledge that drives the work, utilizing evidence based decision-making. 

Learning: considering new ways of doing things, building capacity and competency, openness to diverse perspectives.

Collaboration and Consultation: including member perspectives in decision-making, ensuring national voices in our strategies, partnering to achieve goals.

Engagement and Participation: recognizing the value of grassroots, member-driven initiatives, building value in volunteer experiences, enhancing multiple ways of engaging with the profession.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility: Striving for universal design, considering the broadest participation in the Association and the profession, expanding involvement and voices of underrepresented groups.


Our Commitments

Our commitments, like our values, should be embedded in all aspects of our activities, objectives and strategies. The Board of Directors agrees that attention and resources should be committed to the following:

Indigenization: The Board of Directors commits to ensuring that our association activities appropriately include, reflect, and represent Indigenous perspectives with participation and input from Indigenous members. CACUSS is committed to understanding how our practices both as an association and on our member campuses can contribute to reconciliation and decolonization.

Health and Well-being:  The Board of Directors commits to supporting initiatives that build on the health & well-being of our campus communities, our members, our students, and our environment. This commitment reflects our intention that our activities, actions, and projects should consider how they build and support healthy living and working environments.


Our Goals

Goal 1 – Professional Development

CACUSS will offer comprehensive, robust, innovative, leading-edge learning opportunities to its members.


  1. Expand and effectively leverage our available technology, tools and infrastructure to support the diversity of our members.
  2. Increase member knowledge and mastery of the professional competencies at appropriate levels.
  3. Increase professional development offerings that engage and attract non-members.
  4. Increase new and existing revenue opportunities that can fund ongoing professional development offerings and other association programs and services.


  • Create a comprehensive 5-year professional development plan.
  • Identify and expand relevant community of practice and discipline-focused competencies that will guide the strategic development of learning opportunities.
  • Establish outcome and assessment mechanisms to monitor and evaluate learner mastery of the competencies.
  • Determine capacity and make choices about resources focused on English- and French-speaking professionals.


Goal 2 – Knowledge, Research & Insight

CACUSS will provide relevant, reliable and valued knowledge about Canadian Student Affairs and Services.


  1. Increase recognition of our knowledge expertise.
  2. Improve alignment of our knowledge expertise with external stakeholders’ priorities and trends.
  3. Increase funding and resources to support new and existing member-driven research.


  • Establish a comprehensive Canadian Research agenda/strategy in student affairs and services.
  • Create a comprehensive organizational infrastructure to support the creation of and access to research. Identify the money, time, people, and skills to support this work.
  • Create an inventory of our current knowledge sources and ensure they are available and accessible to members.


Goal 3 – Inclusive Membership

CACUSS will offer a wide variety of avenues for meaningful member engagement in the association.


  1. Expand the capacity and further strengthen our communities of practice.
  2. Increase understanding of the role of COPs as subject matter experts, and encourage member involvement in multiple communities.
  3. Increase our capacity to deliver valuable service to the francophone community.
  4. Expand the number of professionals (and segments of the profession) that are attracted to CACUSS membership and involvement
  5. Increase our membership from institutions beyond universities (e.g. colleges, technical institutions, CEGEPs, etc).
  6. Continue to improve our outreach efforts in all regions of Canada, ensuring representative participation by members from across the country in CACUSS activities.


  • Provide comprehensive orientation and leadership training to Directors, Committee Leaders, and Community of Practice Leaders.
  • Develop a measureable approach to increase participation in CACUSS communities.


Goal 4 – Impact of the Profession

CACUSS and its members will foster the development of Student Affairs and Services in Canada to ensure that the profession is universally valued and widely understood.


  1. Increase our knowledge of the role and function of student affairs and services throughout Canada.
  2. Increase opportunities to encourage participation in the profession from the widest diversity of Canadians.
  3. Increase the frequency with which student affairs and services is viewed as illuminating a broad set of issues as boundary spanners and  change agents, influencing and informing on key issues impacting our students and our campus communities.


  • Create a comprehensive new professionals institute that is the gold standard for entry level training and competency development in Canada.
  • Expand our influence and connection to graduate programs and faculty in Canada.
  • Develop and conduct a Canada-wide benchmarking tool to gather data and better understand the demographics and scope of the profession in Canada.


Goal 5 – Advocacy and Influence

CACUSS’ individual and collective expertise will support member’s advocacy interests for change in policy, practice, and priorities for students in post-secondary education.


  1. Establish internal guidelines and processes to guide how we leverage the association’s knowledge and expertise to support member institutions attempts to influence external stakeholders.
  2. Expand and nurture relationships with external stakeholders to help inform and support member advocacy.
  3. Connect our knowledge and research efforts to key issues identified by our members requiring advocacy.


  • Create an issues management process to determine how to respond to media and other requests.
  • Work with Senior leaders across the country to set priorities and establish standards on supporting member advocacy.
  • Inventory and leverage our member expertise to support member and external stakeholders requests.
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