STL CAPS Program engages students in career oriented opportunities


Photo courtesy of CAPS

Mehlville student Iva Grbesa (12) and OHS student Jessica Roeger (12) perform a dissection of the heart.

OHS has recently been focused on providing the opportunity for students to get a head start on their future.

Several OHS students are involved in the St. Louis Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) program, which allows high school students to fast forward into their future by solving real world problems and working at a college curriculum level. They also get to work with employers, all while receiving high school and college credit.

“I believe the CAPS program is a great opportunity for students,” guidance department chair Mr. Stephen King said. “Students have the opportunity to learn from business and industry professionals on a daily basis. Students get to experience their potential career through a wide variety of learning experiences as well as internships while in high school.”

CAPS has a few different strands within the program: Business and Entrepreneurship, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, technology solutions, and the Medical and Healthcare strand.

OHS got involved with the CAPS Program when Affton High School pitched its program to other districts, because it was new and they wanted to expand since they are a small high school. OHS has been involved with the program for two years now, the first year starting with three students and this year with 21 students.

The Medical and Healthcare strand has a lot of activities planned for the medical career orientated students. Students have already visited some of Saint Louis’s level 1 trauma centers, met with professionals, as well as dissected in the SLU lab with many specimens.
Students have also gotten the opportunity to scrub in and observe a cardiac surgery. They will also shadow many medical professional throughout the year, which could lead to an internship during their second semester.

Mitch Tinkham, a current Medical CAPS student said, “I joined CAPS to network with actual professional in the medical field and to experience situation that I will be out in when I get to my future career.”

The Engineering Strand have gone through mock interviews, created resumes, and have met with Patterson Tool and Mold. The strand will be visiting places like Ameron, Essex Industries, and possibly Boeing.

Danielle Flieg chose the Engineering strand of CAPS because she wanted something different than just filling her senior year with 4 gym classes. “It’s going weel as I’ve learned a lot about the side of engineering and then also getting life skills such as how to write resume, interview, and dress formally”, Flieg said.

The business strand of CAPS has been very busy so far and done a variety of cool activities, as well as visiting different companies. Students have visited the T-REX building, which is a business incubator, they have also gotten a chance to present projects in front of a panel of judges and entrepreneurs that give feedback on products for when they do their elevator pitches for representatives from SLU.

Michael Guardado, a business member, said that CAPS has been a very cool experience so far. “None of these opportunities would have been possible it weren’t for us taking the course,” Michael Guardado said.

CAPS students have much planned ahead of them and will have a busy year. If students want to get more involved for next year there will be informational meeting starting in November. More information can be asked from Mr.King in the guidance office as well.