Profession-based Learning Movement

Industry Partners

Want to make a difference?

Become part of the profession-based learning movement and provide students authentic opportunities to learn.

Visualize learning through CAPS programs and you see a model that has reimagined and restructured high school education by allowing students to focus on finding their passions, strengths and potential careers through real-world educational experiences. By leveraging strong community partnerships and combining that with the collective knowledge of CAPS affiliates, students engage in powerful, integrated, real-world learning that prepares them for life after high school. Reimagining and delivering education in this way produces individuals that not only optimize the combination of interests and career, but lifelong learners that are able to adapt to the changing circumstances of life and the economy.

CAPS Community Connectedness

Every organization has a secret sauce that contributes to its success. For CAPS, it is the collective knowledge and experience of instructors and community partners. CAPS affiliates establish and nurture relationships with community partners that are mutually beneficial, sustainable, coordinated and multi-faceted. Partners help shape curriculum, provide real-world projects, support professional development for instructors, invest in equipment and supplies and provide job shadow opportunities, speakers, mentors and internships. In order to achieve a high standard of education and student experiences, CAPS’ pool of partners include individuals, businesses, educational institutions, government and civic organizations—each working together to bring expertise and other resources to support CAPS’ programs.

Developing relationships with business, industry and higher education partners is critical to the success of any CAPS program. The CAPS Network is designed to create rich and meaningful experiences for students, as well as partners. Programs that partner with the CAPS Network share best practices and connections with professional partners, post-secondary institutions and students.

Real-World Projects

Relevance is central to the CAPS model. One of the growing themes of educational reform is the need to make experiences authentic—solving real problems mentored by real employers with real tools leading to real learning. That is the mission driving our profession-based learning movement. 

To support that learning model, community partners provide projects selected and designed within the capabilities of the student and the strand in which they participate. Projects can range from business services such as marketing, pricing strategy, event planning and management to creative services such as photography, graphic design or social media. Students may also work hands-on with projects such as building prototypes in engineering or designing apps or games with technology.

CAPS Network Students

  • Students have an opportunity to become immersed in real industry environments

  • Students are connected to industry partners and potential job opportunities and networks post-graduation

  • Curriculum can be revised and adjusted according to changes in industry trends

  • Skills level gaps can be identified and closed

  • Local companies/organizations are able to invest in talent early

  • Curriculum reflects the current and projected realities of industry trends and needs, better preparing students for college and careers

Without community partnerships, we would not be able to offer quality authentic experiences, coaching and training needed to close our regions’ skills gap, attract and keep local talent and build self-awareness in our students.

— Dr. Robert Hall, Executive Director, LAUNCH, Elmbrook Schools

"Always ask potential business partners how your students can help them. Be sure they know you are seeking a mutually beneficial partnership."

Dr. Jennifer Stanfill, Director of Choice Programs, Parkway School District, Library Services

“Give me that project that is the tenth item on your Things-To-Do list; you never get to it but you never take if off.”

Clint Robinson, Vice President, Black & Veetch - On Changing Business Perspectives on Education

"Our own mentors are our greatest champions when it comes to recruiting other business partners. Let them tell the Spark!/CAPS story to their business colleagues!"

Dr. Jennifer Stanfill, Director of Choice Programs, Parkway School District, Library Services

"While we are living in a time when the future of work is being reimagined, I reject the idea of a dystopian future projected by some in response to the current rapid growth of automation. These fears have followed each of the three previous industrial revolutions. Even with all the chaos, this is a wonderful time to be alive. The human element will continue to be an essential component of the new world of work. The jobs of the future will require a unique combination of both digital and human skills. Human skills are differentiators; they are why you get hired. Learning how to learn, becoming more adaptable, to have greater empathy, and the ability to collaborate in teams are skills that transcend disciplines. This mindset and these skillsets should be targets for education."

Todd McLees, Principal, Full Circle Innovation