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The Greater Ozarks Centers for Advanced Professional Studies (GO CAPS) is in its second year of showing local high school students a handful of the professional opportunities available in four different fields of work. Enrollment in the program has grown dramatically – from 105 students in the program’s first year to 179 students in the current session.
News of the program’s success has spread quickly, even among state leaders. It’s what prompted State Sen. Jay Wasson to reach out to Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann to learn more about the program.
The school district’s response was to invite the senator to see for himself what’s going on.
Wasson, who represents portions of Greene and Christian counties in the state legislature, took the district up on its offer and got a first-hand look at the program during a February 3 tour of two participating organizations, Mercy Springfield Communities and the Missouri State University eFactory. He had the chance to talk to both students and instructors about their experiences, and he came away highly impressed with what he saw.
“The enthusiasm that the students displayed while obtaining knowledge in a business setting was apparent,” Wasson said. “Taking the students out of the classroom enhances their experience and lets them learn through hands-on everyday work situations.”
That is, after all, the goal of the program. High school juniors and seniors get an immersive experience, working with highly skilled instructors who provide authentic exposure to high-skill fields – the fields that will be most in demand for years to come. They learn about industry needs and trends and get the chance to identify their own interests, all while also learning the so-called “soft skills” necessary to successfully navigate the working world.
Note: If you know of a student who would be a good candidate for the 2017-2018 GO CAPS program, applications are now open. The deadline to apply is February 28. Visit the GO CAPS webpage to learn more.