The Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies, PC CAPS is an experiential, real world learning model offered at the Park City High School. A documentary film called Where Student’s Lead is made by students and presents the new learning paradigm. It shows how CAPS programs can inspire high schoolers as they make their way into the real world whether they’re career, or college bound.
Park City School District Master Planning discussions suggest the future of education is different from how it has looked in the past. The strategic planning committee has referred to hands on learning, group collaboration, worker spaces and flexible class environments.
Park City High School Assistant Principal and Director of PC CAPS, Caleb Fine says the learning model is expanding nationally. He says Park City was one of the first high schools in the country to offer a CAPS program.
“There’s over a hundred different school districts involved with caps and I think I want to say fourteen different states, two countries. So, it's no longer just us and Blue Valley. We believe we have a really cool way to engage students in learning to give them an experiential, a learning experience that bolsters them into their future. And a lot of them really develop some professional skills and learn a little bit about who they are and what they are passionate about.”
Fine says they have about 120 students a year that participate in one of the six classes offered.
“Currently, we have a teaching strand, which obviously we’re passionate about as educators. We have a software and computer development strand. We have a business strategy strand. We have a digital media and marketing strand and we have an engineering strand. And, we have a health science strand.”
Fine says Park City students are exposed to this new learning model in many classes other than PC CAPS. With internet access to so much information, he says students need to be mentored in other ways.
“A lot of teachers take on an experiential learning element in their classrooms. And as students have access to any content on demand, the access that they can get from their phone is often times better than the access that they can get from the content in school. That's how powerful the Internet has become. It's so important to engage students with not just the content but the application and the usability of the information they're gathering and to really, really encourage creative, collaborative learning. As the future of learning has been happening, I've been able to engage in the discussions and so many great community members have engaged in those discussions. There's a lot of excitement towards how we can increase student’s exposure to very engaging projects, to mentors and to many areas of expertise. I think that can be done K through 12.”
Fine says with CAPS enrollment of 120 students per year, their current space and teaching staff is adequate.
The documentary film, Where Students Lead is on tour nation-wide. Park City School District decided to absorb the cost of the $20.00 ticket price.
“Our program specifically has only been involved in rah, rah, we support it, we’re excited to be a part of it. It was not our students creating the film. But most of the film is student shot and student edited.”Go to https://studentslead.fi.ncsu.edu/#!/pages/home to see a trailer and use the code CAPS NET YES to get a free ticket for Monday’s screening at the Eccles Center at 6pm.