Student associates praise opportunities of CAPS

After sitting in a classroom for 10 years day in and day out, it is no surprise that the Cedar Falls CAPS program is as popular as it is. 

CAPS stands for Center for Advanced Professional Studies, and that is exactly what it provides. The class revolves around four cornerstones: innovation, problem solving, durable skills, and career exploration. Each cornerstone is prevalent in all six CAPS programs, including business solutions, careers, CNA, education and training, industries, and medical and health services. 

Students are no longer students once they join CAPS; they are now associates. Associates are able to experience real world work scenarios and how businesses are run and the many factors that come into play when doing a job. 

Senior Max Tjoa is a business solutions associate in CAPS. “CAPS is different from school because you’re not in a classroom listening to your instructor. Instead, we’re out in the real world, working with other people, learning professional skills.” 

CAPS takes up three school periods, and each CAPS program is not located anywhere in the high school. The business solutions program takes place at Gravitate and UNI. Associate Keagan Reade said the biggest takeaway so far is that, “You get a little more free reign and you actually get treated like an adult instead of a student, which is much different from the classroom environment at school.” 

The dynamic in a CAPS setting is similar to being at a job and being with a boss and colleagues instead of teachers and classmates. Associate Josh Hansen said he believes that CAPS can give associates valuable insight on different career paths. “If you don’t know what you want to do in your future, CAPS gives you the opportunity to explore a profession without having to pay for it like college.”

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