CAPS offers opportunities, experiences differ

Haley Schroer, Staff Writer

Since the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) opened last year, the facility has added several new programs. 

As students begin to take more CAPS classes there is less room in their schedules for elective classes. 

Spanish teacher Jill Gouger believes the idea is ultimately good but puts a strain on students’ schedules. 

“It essentially forces students to choose CAPS over electives and for students with multiple interests, I think it’s a shame,” Gouger said.

Because CAPS fills multiple class periods, each program is worth multiple class grades. 

For example, a three-hour class is worth three grades on a student’s transcript. 

Gouger thinks the CAPS classes should be shortened to allow students to choose CAPS and other elective classes.

“If they limited it to, say, two hours, they would have time for exposure to something and then have two extra hours for electives,” she said.  

CAPS director Donna Deeds says the length of CAPS classes are the toughest part.

“The challenges so far are just fitting it into the schedule because it requires a lot of time commitment and work,” she said.

Senior Paige Owens took the sports medicine class last semester to gain real-life experience. 

“I thought it was going to be a really good experience to test out the field because I wanted to go into sports medicine,” Owens said.

However, after a couple of classes she found the afternoon class was not set up how she expected.

“We would go to first lunch and then have five minutes to change and then five minutes to get there,” Owens said. “I had to rush everywhere.”

Deeds says the CAPS schedule teaches the students responsibility. 

“One of the things you learn is time management,” she said. “It’s a make or break. If you can’t learn that then you can’t be successful anywhere.”

Owens said she thought after the first few days it would change, but it was too late to switch after finding out differently.

“The first few days, I just thought it was going to be an intro,” Owens said. “After a while, I wanted to drop out but it was after the first week so I was forced to stay in it.”

When Owens looks back on her CAPS experience, she says she did not enjoy the class.

“It was nothing that I thought it would be,” she said. “I thought it would be an internship thing but I guess it was just a step up from anatomy.”

Even though some students might not gain a positive experience, Deeds said she believes the classes are giving students more opportunities. 

“So far we’ve heard that it’s creating a differential and helping students compete with other students, especially with their business mentor references,”  she said. 

Despite Owens’ CAPS experience, she still thinks students should sign up for CAPS.

“I was the first semester of CAPS, so they had a lot of kinks to work out,” Owens said. “I think it’s a really cool idea and I think you could learn a lot.”

Junior Lisa Vance enjoyed her architectural design CAPS class.

“I loved it,” Vance said. “Especially the people, they’re just a really fun group. I’m best friends with some of the people in that class.”

While Owens’ class mainly took notes, Vance’s architectural class used its three hours for various projects. 

“We had projects to work on and we worked with clients, who were actual engineers,” Vance said.  

She believes that while she liked CAPS, students should not sign up if they are not interested in the field.

“You’re taking the class for like two and a half hours every single day,” she said. “You’re learning a lot of information and if you’re not going to use it later, it’s kind of pointless.”