The Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) program is a central component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. The goal of CAS is to develop well-rounded individuals who are able to think critically, act ethically, and make a positive impact on their communities. To that end, students are expected to participate in a variety of activities that encourage personal growth and development in these areas and maintain their experiences in their CAS Journal.
The CAS journal is a tool that students use to document their experiences and reflect on what they have learned throughout the program. It serves as a way for students to reflect on their CAS activities, the planning, implementation, and reflection stages of the activities, and how the activities have contributed to their personal growth and development. It’s extremely important in the IB as it is a deciding factor of whether or not you are eligible to get an IB diploma and you know how important the diploma is.
It’s essential for students to write and document their progress in the journal as it serves as evidence of their participation and progress in the CAS program. Students are required to update their journals regularly, including written reflections on their experiences, photographs, and other relevant documentation. The journal is an important tool to evaluate and evidence the achievement of CAS objectives and goals.
Here are a few examples of activities that students can do to fulfill the requirements of the CAS program:
- Participating in a school play or musical production
- Participating in a art or music competition
- Starting a club or group that promotes creativity and the arts
- Creating a piece of art or music to share with the community
- Learning a new instrument and recording your progress
- Creating and designing your own clothes for a mini-fashion walk
- Organizing a charity walk/run event
- Participating in a community service project
- Volunteering at a local organization or charity
- Training in a sports club and participating in several tournaments and practices
- Organizing a baking drive
- Consistent contribution to any club such as an ecology club
- Tracking your progress in a sport
- Participating in MUN Conferences(Model United Nations)
- Interning at a company
- Spreading awareness in your local community regarding a predominant issue faced by the community
- Working as a mentor for younger students
- Helping to organize a school-wide fundraiser for charity
- Participating in a service-learning project
- Helping out at senior-citizen homes
- Cleaning up litter and garbage in your local area frequently
- Helping out at the local hospital for specially-challenged people
- Visiting and helping out at the local orphanage by providing fun activities regularly
- Volunteering for an organization that helps to support vulnerable members of the community
These are just a few examples of the various and several activities you can do which will be considered for CAS. If you need more examples of activities and how to segregate them accordingly, you should consult with your CAS coordinator at school and they will clarify your questions and provide you with appropriate examples of activities that you may do or are possible to do.
The time requirements are extremely simple. You need to have at least 150 hours recorded for CAS with a minimum of 50 hours in each of the letters in CAS. By fulfilling this time requirement, your CAS journal will be considered completed.
It is important for students to choose activities that align with their personal interests and goals, as this will increase the likelihood of success and personal growth. For example, a student who has always loved photography could participate in a photography competition, capturing and documenting their experience in the journal throughout the process. Additionally, by completing CAS, it allows you to build strong college applications, especially to the USA, as extracurriculars and volunteering service is strongly smiled upon and encouraged by colleges and will definitely increase your chances of admission.
The journal should include the following components:
- A clear goal and objectives, including what the student hopes to achieve through the activity
- Planning stages, including the resources and steps taken to achieve the goal
- Implementation stages, including documentation of the student’s progress, any challenges faced, and how they were addressed
- Reflection stages, including an analysis of what was learned, how the activity has contributed to personal growth, and any suggestions for improvement if the activity were to be done again
If you are confused about where to start or what to even do after all this, don’t fret. Finding sample CAS journals online or by asking your CAS coordinator to share some sample CAS journals from your school’s alumni will provide you an idea of how to format and write your CAS journal. Consistently writing your CAS journal from the beginning as an IB student is super important and will make your life easier as you won’t have the headache of writing such a long journal in a week or two if you have been procrastinating.
It is crucial for students to reflect on their experiences and document them in the journal. The reflection process is an essential part of the CAS program and allows students to think critically about their experiences, analyze what they have learned, and consider how they can apply this knowledge and skills in the future.
It’s also important for the students to document any changes made to the original plan and why, the time and hours spent in the activity, and the impact of the activity on the community or personal development. This information is necessary for the final evaluation of the program.
In conclusion, the CAS journal is a vital tool for students participating in the CAS program. It serves as a way for students to document their progress and reflect on their experiences. It is important for students to choose activities that align with their personal goals and interests, and to write and document their progress in the journal regularly. The reflection process is an essential part of the program and allows students to think critically about their experiences, analyze what they have learned, and consider how they can apply this knowledge and skills in the future. The journal will provide a record of the student’s journey through the CAS program, and will be a valuable tool for evaluation by the school and the student themselves.
The CAS journal is not just a requirement to fulfill, but it is an opportunity for the students to have a deeper understanding of themselves and the impact they have on their community. Through regular updates and reflections on the journal, students can gain a better understanding of their own personal growth, the impact they have had on the community, and how they can continue to make a difference in the future.
Overall, the CAS program is a challenging but rewarding experience that helps to develop well-rounded, responsible, and engaged global citizens.