You’re Invited: Waukee CAPS Celebration Event Oct. 21

WaukeeCAPSCelebrationWaukee Community School District is hosting an event to celebrate the launch of Waukee CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) on October 21 at 7 p.m. in the Waukee High School Auditorium, 555 SE University Ave. Families, community members and business professionals are invited to attend the celebratory event that will introduce the program and feature Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Jim Masterson, chief executive officer, LightEdge, as speakers.

Waukee CAPS is an innovative approach that brings business and education together to create authentic work experiences for high school students. The first of its kind in Iowa, Waukee CAPS joins only a handful of other programs like it in the nation.

“Designed to develop future leaders and global innovators, Waukee CAPS allows students to explore passions and career possibilities by working directly with local business partners and drawing on their expertise,” said Chris Bergman, executive director, Waukee CAPS. “Through extensive research, Waukee CAPS developed course strands focused on industries identified by economic trends within our metro area and state to boost the success of Waukee students and the state’s future economy.”

Industry-driven courses are developed through collaboration with business partners who bring the curriculum to life with projects at their workplace. Students enrolled in the program spend part of the school day onsite at satellite locations hosted at local businesses.

“The learning goes two ways – we mentor the students, but we’re also learning right along with them. The students give us new insight and add value back to our business,” noted Eric Beron, American Institute of Architects, principal, DLR Group. DLR Group hosts students daily as part of a course focused on technology.

Courses will expand and evolve over time as economic trends change. Currently, Waukee CAPS offers courses in the following five stands:

  • Finance and Insurance – at FBL Financial Group
  • Business, Technology & Communications – at DLR Group
  • Engineering – at Shive-Hattery
  • Human Services – at Des Moines University
  • Bioscience & Value-added Agriculture – course in development

“The hands-on approach gives me real-life experience in health care, which is my passion. I’m gaining professional skills, connecting with professionals and working alongside my peers. One of the things I like best is that I’m giving back and contributing to the world right now while planning for my future,” said Emilie Hulse, Waukee CAPS student enrolled in the Exploration of Health Sciences and Medicine course.

Skills for the Future

Demand for deep, analytical talent could be more than 50-60 percent greater than projected supply by 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it critical for today’s students to gain new skills for the evolving workforce. Through inquiry-based learning and experiences, Waukee CAPS students build professional skills focused in key areas such as critical thinking, complex communication, creativity, collaboration, flexibility and adaptability, productivity and accountability.

“Education is evolving and the same skills required today will not propel students to succeed in the future,” said Susan Bunz, Waukee CAPS Advisory Board and Waukee Community School Board member. “We applaud all of our business partners and those in the community who are working with Waukee CAPS to grow the definition of education by allowing innovation to lead.”

Learn more about Waukee CAPS at or follow on Twitter at @Waukee_CAPS.

About Waukee CAPS

Through a collaboration of education, business and the community, Waukee CAPS develops highly-skilled, adaptable, global innovators and leaders. Waukee CAPS draws on the expertise of business partners to bring real world application into the comprehensive high school experience. Through inquiry-based learning and authentic projects and experiences, students add value to business partners while exploring passions and career possibilities identified by economic trends within our metro area and state.

About Waukee Community School District

Waukee Community School District (WCSD) is the fastest growing school district in the state of Iowa with more than 1,100 staff members serving more than 8,600 students in preschool through grade twelve. WCSD teachers and staff are dedicated to optimizing individual learning and potential for success in a global community. Follow on Twitter at @WaukeeCSD.

560 Southeast University Avenue
Waukee, Iowa 50263
Phone 515.987.5161
Fax 515.987.2701