The Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies is helping create a national consortium that will band together schools to boost an innovative education model.
Blue Valley CAPS executive director Corey Mohn said that his program often receives interest from other schools to learn about its curriculum, which pushes students to collaborate with businesses and other professionals in the community. Over the summer, Mohn said that Blue Valley CAPS hosted officials from many of those schools around the nation. The group’s discussion in turn yielded the new national CAPS Network, he said.
The network will connect 16 affiliate programs in nine states across 32 school districts to share effective strategies and improve student performance.
“We started thinking about what we could do to add value to all these various partners to leverage each other’s strengths and assets,” Mohn said. “It became clear that something we could do is help organize some infrastructure on how these programs relate to each other. So we set up a framework, and it is really a way for programs to share best practices, provide communication tools, and be intentional about connecting between programs.”
As the network matures, Mohn said he expects more CAPS affiliate programs to join. CAPS programs aim to educate students in the fields of bioscience, business, engineering and human services.
The network features programs in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Utah and Arizona. Mohn anticipates about 3,600 students to benefit from the program in its first year.
“The power of this network is its diversity,” he said. “If a program launches and they’re consistent with our principles but flex it to meet a unique need in their community or try something new — that’s where we learn because they’re trying something different. … There’s immense benefit to society because of what we’re doing (with this network).”
Blue Valley CAPS is a district-wide high school program that aims to accelerate students’ knowledge on various careers by using industry-standard tools and mentorship from employers. Available only to junior and senior students, CAPS courses are all eligible for college credit.