Q: What is CAPS?

A: Southland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) is a nationally recognized, innovative high school program. Students fast forward into their future and are fully immersed in a professional culture, solving real world problems, using industry standard tools and are mentored by actual employers, all while receiving high school and college credit. CAPS is an example of how business, community and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the workforce of tomorrow, especially in high skill, high demand jobs.  For a printable Southland CAPS brochure, click here.

Q: Is CAPS a trade school or vocational program?
A: While Southland CAPS is a program that operates under the Herndon Career Center umbrella, it is not a trade school or vocational program.  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.  Click here to see letters from universities that value the CAPS Network.

Q: What type of credit can be received from a CAPS course?
A: CAPS courses offer high school credit, elective and core credit. College credit is a goal of the program.

Q: What is the schedule in the CAPS program?
A: CAPS courses meet 5 days a week for a semester. Courses are 3 periods in length and are offered in both the morning and afternoon to better accommodate students’ schedules.

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 students in the KC metro area.
  • 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 3 periods a day away from their home high school
  • be able to provide their own transportation to CAPS and business partner sites

Q: Is weighted credit available for any classes at CAPS?
A: Yes, following their first semester in a CAPS strand, students may elect to dig deeper, culminating their CAPS academic and intellectual experience with a capstone project through industry partnerships and possible internship. The capstone experiences build on the introductory course, and are designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills which will prepare them for college and future careers. These skills can include oral communication, public speaking, research skills, teamwork, project management, and portfolio development. The capstone experience is assessed through a culminating project with input from industry partners and displayed through a portfolio and a professional presentation.

Q: May I receive college credit for CAPS courses?
A: All of our programs offer dual credit opportunities through Northwest Missouri State University – Kansas City.  Our Technology Solutions strand also offers enrollment in the KU Edward’s Campus Degree in 3 program.  To find more information, please see our College Credit Opportunities tab under the Student Resources section of the website.