Blue Valley School District Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS)

    Overland Park, Kansas WWW.BVCAPS.ORG


    Endorsed by 16 Universities: Baker University, DeVry University, Emporia State, Johnson County Community College, Kansas State University, Kansas State Olathe Campus, Kansas University, Missouri State, Pittsburg State, Truman State, University of Arkansas, University of Missouri, UMKC, UMKC Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Wichita State, William Jewell


    Endorsed by 19 Corporations: Arvest Bank, Bayer CropScience, BioHealth, Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell, Cerner, Cisco, DLR Group, Garmin International, Hewlett Packard, Kauffman FastTrac, Lego Education, MRI Global, Perceptive Software, Quantum, Saint Luke’s South, Sprint, Sterling, Inc., Weitz


    What is CAPS?

    Blue Valley School District’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), is a nationally recognized, innovative high school program created in partnership with seventy-four domestic and international business partners, hundreds of business mentors, six leading universities and education experts. Students fast forward into their future as if they already have a college degree and are fully immersed in a professional culture, solving real world problems, using industry standard tools and are mentored by real employers, all while receiving high school and college credit. Students learn from global and local leaders, such as IBM, Black & Veatch, Cerner, Cisco, Sprint, Bayer and Garmin to name a few who have chosen to partner with CAPS. CAPS is an example of how business, community and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the needed workforce of tomorrow, especially in high skill, high demand jobs.


    In 2005, the Blue Valley School District challenged itself to develop an innovative program that would increase the relevance of high school curriculum and propel students into high demand/high skill workforce areas like Engineering, Bioscience, Global Business, Technology, and Human Services. The program is grounded in profession-based learning relying heavily on strong partnerships with business, industry and post-secondary institutions. CAPS is focused on emerging economic markets and workforce development by engaging students in real project work for real businesses, all while receiving high school and college credit. Early career professional skills like project management, business ethics, time management, teamwork, creativity are instructed, role modeled and measured.

    What types of courses are offered at CAPS?

    CAPS is driven by the changing workforce needs of industry, therefore instructors and CAPS Business Partners co-author all coursework. CAPS curriculum is dynamic, constantly evolving to follow industry trends and market changes using a copyrighted rapid prototyping curriculum development process.

    ·         Bioscience – Molecular Medicine and Bioengineering; Environmental Science and Animal Health; Bioscience Research

    ·         Business Technology and Media – Global Economics, Marketing and Business; Technology Solutions; iMedia; Filmmaking; Interactive Design

    ·         Engineering – Civil Engineering and Architecture; Digital Electronics; Robotics; Aerospace Engineering, Computer Integrated Manufacturing; Design Process for Engineers

    ·         Human Services – Teacher Education; Sports Medicine; Foundations of Medicine; Law and Public Safety


    New this year 2012-13

    CAPS Accelerator - Another opportunity to differentiate
    The Center for Advanced Professional Studies is excited to offer the next big thing in education: a business accelerator for Blue Valley high school students.  Created in partnership with higher education and the business community, the accelerator features rapid prototyping labs where teams of students, from all CAPS strands, innovate side-by-side with mentors from the professional workforce.  Ideas, prototypes, proof of concepts, marketing and business plans, patent applications, and more are generated from the CAPS Accelerator.


    The CAPS Innovate course is designed for entrepreneurial minded students seeking high-tech resources and multi-talented teams to “Innovate” and “Accelerate” their ideas.  Located in the CAPS Accelerator, students from varying backgrounds and interests work together to explore and pursue opportunities such as new product inventions or services while connecting with a support network to act on those opportunities.  Programming is modeled from top innovative labs such as the Babson Venture Accelerator, Harvard Innovation Lab, Stanford Design School and the MIT Media Lab, offering copyrighted curriculum and certification through our local Kauffman FastTrac® TechVenture™ program.   Students have the opportunity to work with and be mentored by both local and coastal design firms such as Google, Apple, and IDEO.  Successful launching and growing of start-ups are provided initial business and legal counsel by our partnering firms.  The CAPS Innovate course concludes with the opportunity for students to pitch their business plan to a panel of investors in a “Shark Tank” style event.


    What are the early results?

    ·         Increased student enrollment – 250 students in 2009 and 1,000 students in 2012

    ·         Increased business partners and mentors—240 business partners, 360 active mentors

    ·         Increased student completed projects for real business clients—Over 170 projects

    ·         Key business partners investing financial resources--Garmin, Bayer, Cerner, Black & Veatch, Sprint, Cisco, IBM, American Century, H & R Block, Freedom Bank, DLR Group, Apple, Kauffman Foundation, Microsoft, General Electric, Edison Foundation and Project Lead the Way

    ·         82 paid college-level internships, beating out college students

    ·         17 provisional patents and patents in progress

    ·         5 student-led businesses, filed for LLC

    ·         Recipient of the prestigious Edison Gold Award in 2011 for most innovative product of the year




    Donna Deeds, CAPS Executive Director                  Chad Ralston, CAPS Director                    www.bvcaps.org