St. Louis CAPS Overview
St. Louis CAPS provides high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to fast-forward beyond college to test-drive their future in high-skill, high-demand careers.
St. Louis CAPS Overview
St. Louis CAPS is a multi-district partnership that provides high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to fast-forward beyond college to test-drive their future in high-skill, high-demand professions. St. Louis CAPS offers four different courses that meet for approximately two and a half hours during the school day with morning and afternoon sessions available. On a daily basis, students have the unique opportunity to learn outside the walls of a traditional high school since each course is hosted by business partners in professional workplaces such as medical centers, research labs, small business co-working incubators, and higher education facilities. The projects students complete come directly from business and industry partners and require them to demonstrate professional skills such as time management, teamwork, communication, problem solving, collaboration, work ethic, and creativity. Students will interact with business and industry professionals on a frequent basis by visiting a variety of workplaces around the St. Louis area. The business partners, projects, and workplaces are aligned to the student’s career interests. Students have the opportunity to complete internships and job shadows with business partners while earning high school and college credit.
St. Louis CAPS Student Characteristics
St. Louis CAPS encourages any junior or senior passionate about a career area the courses address to apply. There are no specific prerequisites that need to be met in order to submit an application. In general, St. Louis CAPS seems to be a popular option for seniors that are head to a four-year college. Longitudinal data from St. Louis CAPS graduates shows that over 90% go directly to four-year colleges and participate in advanced placement classes while they also typically have a GPA above a 3.0 and an average ACT of 24.
St. Louis CAPS Courses & Curriculum Design
The St. Louis CAPS program offers four courses that align with high-skill, high-demand careers in the St. Louis area that are in need of the best talent. The program offers students that are still in high school the unique opportunity to build their professional network through interactions with business and industry partners that are interested in helping to shape the talent they desire. On an annual basis, St. Louis CAPS reviews local workforce data and makes course adjustments accordingly. Unlike traditional high school courses that get curriculum revisions every five to six years, the CAPS instructors gather input from business and industry partners annually and make curricular changes throughout each school year. Therefore, each CAPS course is dynamic and relevant with the ability to pivot in the direction of unique opportunities offered by business and industry partners. Each year will offer different opportunities for experiences and projects that are customized and personalized. Each course provides deep career exploration as well as advanced development of professional skills expected by business and industry partners. The courses St. Louis CAPS offers are listed below.
- Medicine, Healthcare, & Bioscience
- Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing
- Technology Solutions & Logistics
- Global Business & Entrepreneurship
St. Louis CAPS Course Structure & Locations
Each St. Louis CAPS course is a year-long and worth 3.0 credits that count towards high school graduation requirements. There are also college credit options. Students can choose to participate in a morning session (7:30 to 10:00) or afternoon session (12:00 to 2:30). The majority of students that enroll in St. Louis CAPS courses are seniors and participate for an entire school year however, students may participate for two years if desired (junior year and senior year). Seniors that return for their second year in the same course are considered Senior Associates and will have the opportunity for a year-long internship and personalized projects. Students could also elect to participate in one course their junior year and a different course their senior year.
Each St. Louis CAPS course is hosted in a professional workplace by a business and industry partner. In addition, each course will conduct frequent visits to other business and industry partner locations throughout the St. Louis area. The Medicine, Healthcare, and Bioscience course is hosted by St. Anthony’s Mercy Medical Center while the other three courses are hosted by STL Venture Works South County.
Participating High Schools and School Districts
St. Louis CAPS was the first, and still the only, program of its kind in the St. Louis area to operate as a multi-district partnership. There are currently five high schools and four school districts that comprise St. Louis CAPS. St. Louis CAPS is part of the national CAPS Network that spans 11 states, over 30 programs, and over 70 school districts.
- Affton High School – Affton School District
- Bayless High School – Bayless School District
- Lafayette High School – Rockwood School District
- Mehlville High School – Mehlville School District
- Oakville High School – Mehlville School District