Q: What is St. Charles CAPS?

A: St. Charles CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) immerses high school students in professional environments through engaging curriculum that is driven by passionate industry leaders and delivered by visionary instructors.

Junior and Senior-level high school students from two St. Charles area school districts–St. Charles City School District and Orchard Farm School District–join together in a creative learning environment to explore their interests, promote their quest for self-discovery, and develop their professional skills as innovative leaders of the future. Learning is student driven; instructors facilitate the learning process through problem-based projects comprised of authentic and relevant work experiences. Through this innovative approach, business and education collaborate to become a global learning community.

Q: What is the difference between St. Charles CAPS and regular high school?
A: St. Charles CAPS is a profession-based learning approach where students are fully immersed in the business community and meet in a non-traditional classroom setting. Students are treated as professionals and participate in real projects using industry-standard tools with real business partners. St. Charles CAPS is not a trade school or vocational program.

Q: Is CAPS a trade school or vocational program?
A: No. CAPS provides students the opportunity to deeply explore professional areas of interest through a profession-based, inquiry learning method. CAPS is driven by the changing workforce needs of industry, therefore instructors and CAPS business partners collaborate to develop coursework. CAPS curriculum is dynamic, constantly evolving to follow industry trends and market changes using a copyrighted rapid prototyping curriculum development process.

Q: How do colleges/universities view CAPS students?
A: While each institution has different admission standards, showing the ability to complete real-world interdisciplinary projects is proving to differentiate CAPS students on college, university, and scholarship applications.

Q: What type of credit is offered for St. Charles CAPS strands?
A: CAPS courses offer high school credit. College credit is being planned.

Q: When are St. Charles CAPS classes held?
A: Morning classes will be held 7:45-10:15 am at the CAPS site. Students will attend class at their home school in the afternoon.  Classes will meet daily with some sessions being held at off-site business partner locations.

Q: What are the requirements to enroll?
A: Students interested in the CAPS program need to:

  • attain junior or senior status
  • desire to work in a profession-based, real-world environment with other Blue Valley high school students
  • be willing to comply with business ethics (e.g. attendance) and dress codes determined by the type of CAPS study they are involved in
  • be willing to spend 2 or 3 periods a day away from their home high school
  • be able to provide their own transportation to CAPS and business partner sites