If you haven’t heard the term Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), chances are you will start hearing more about it in the near future. The Kansas City metro area is rapidly developing these programs that give high school students the opportunity to learn about real-world professional careers…right in the work place.
In fact, the Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies is bringing together students, educators and professionals in a wide variety of careers – including healthcare and technology solutions – to give students hands-on experience in a field of their choice. Different from a traditional vo-tech program, these CAPS programs teach students skills in high demand/high skill careers. Students also team up with educators and mentors to help define their interests in a specific field.
The result: everyone wins. Students gain knowledge and professional skills (including writing resumes, teamwork, andlearning how to handle rejection, among other things) and, according to this Kansas City Star 816 North article, businesses get the next generation’s fresh perspective while creating an educated and well-trained workforce for the future. Of course, the students also get class credit for their work.
On the opposite side of Kansas City lies what might be called the incubator for CAPS programs in Kansas City. Just like Northland CAPS, the longer-standing Blue Valley CAPS (BVCAPS) program, recognized by the White House as a Next-Generation High School, is known for innovative partnerships between students and area businesses.
BVCAPS was also recognized by the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA), for its work in training a bumper crop of young entrepreneurs in all aspects of business and product creation, and by the Kansas City Business Journal for the 2015 Impact Award.
As recruiters who are fortunate enough to work with so many of KC’s talented professionals and highly-skilled members of the metro-area workforce, we salute these innovative programs. We also look forward to keeping an eye on these programs as they continue to evolve and grow, and we can’t wait to begin meeting – and working with – the crop of young, talented professionals they have helped develop.
*"Fountain and Lights" appears courtesy of Brian HIllegas/ creative commons license