What is CASAS? CASAS is the most widely used competency-based assessment system in the United States designed to assess the relevant real-world basic skills of adult learners. CASAS measures the basic skills and the English language and literacy skills needed to function effectively at work and in life.
For more than three decades, CASAS (Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems), a nonprofit organization, has strengthened the efforts of education and business and industry to transition people age 16 and older to postsecondary education and workplace success. CASAS is used nationally and internationally and is validated by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor. The primary focus of CASAS is adult education and workforce development — identifying the needs and providing the solutions.
The CASAS Competencies along with the CASAS Content Standards form the basis of the CASAS integrated assessment and curriculum management system.
The CASAS Competencies identify more than 360 essential life skills that youth and adults need to be functionally competent members of their community, their family, and the workforce.
The CASAS Content Standards identify the underlying basic skills at specific proficiency levels that should be taught in the context of CASAS Competencies. The CASAS Content Standards for reading, listening, and math are available at www.casas.org.The competencies are relevant across the full range of instructional levels, from beginning literacy through high school completion including transition to postsecondary education and training.
They cover nine broad content areas:
- Learning and Thinking Skills
- Independent Living
- Basic Communication
- Community Resources
- Consumer Economics
- Government & Law
These critical competencies provide instructional objectives for curriculum, direct links to test content for monitoring student learning, criteria for program evaluation, and a referencing system for instructional materials. CASAS is a standards-based system that has been and will continue to be correlated to national and state-level standards. See www.casas.org for additional information.
Using CASAS competencies in curriculum, assessment, and instruction CASAS Assessments measure the attainment of basic reading, math, listening, speaking, and writing skills in contexts that learners would expect to encounter in everyday situations. Assessment results provide feedback to learners and instructors to target further instruction. Click on the CASAS Skill Level Descriptors below to see how CASAS defines the various educational functioning levels.
Incorporating CASAS Competencies and Content Standards into curriculum and using the CASAS assessment system can help adult education programs better meet learner, community, and program needs and fulfill federal, state, and local reporting requirements.