PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (April 23, 2022) – The Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) Network announced a partnership with Babcock Neighborhood Schools (BNS) and the Charlotte Community Foundation (CCF) to launch the inaugural and flagship program for the state of Florida. The announcement, made by Clint Robinson, Associate Vice President and Director of State & Local Government Affairs for Black & Veatch Corporation, came as an exciting surprise to guests attending the annual Edison Awards held at the Caloosa Convention Center.
The CAPS Network is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on paving the education-to-employment path through profession-based learning. Programs that affiliate with the CAPS Network share best practices and connections with professional partners, post-secondary institutions, teachers, and students.
Babcock Neighborhood Schools – with its unique GreenSTEAM, Project-Based-Learning Curriculum, was an ideal first Florida affiliate partner to the CAPS Network.
“With the visionary and passionate leadership provided by Ashley Maher of the Charlotte Community Foundation (CCF) and Babcock Neighborhood School Principal Shannon Treece, we are excited to witness the incubation of the next generation of innovators,” said Clint Robinson, Black & Veatch Corporation.
Maher, Chief Executive Officer of CCF, said the Charlotte Community Foundation is elated to see this program starting at BNS. “We are so excited to have the CAPS Network program coming to this area,” she said. “This is a phenomenal program for our high school students, and we feel very fortunate to be involved with this nationally recognized organization. CAPS brings together businesses, communities, and public education to create learning experiences that educate our future workforce. We know this is going to be extremely beneficial for our students.”
In 2007, the Blue Valley School District School Board in Overland Park, Kan., set a stretch goal for their superintendent to build a business and education collaboration program that would accelerate public education and solidify a working relationship with the business community to grow their businesses. The superintendent delivered on his stretch goal, and by 2008 these programs, known as CAPS, began inside companies with high school students and teachers in the community.
The CAPS program received an Edison Gold Award in 2011 for innovation in education. The Edison Awards continued to follow the progress of the program and requested that they support a panel discussion in San Francisco during the Meet the Innovators session. Since that time, Blue Valley CAPS has expanded to the CAPS Network, an ecosystem of innovative high school programs that support students working as consultants to the business and nonprofit community – and on their own inventions and business concepts.
“The CAPS Network now serves more than 140 school districts in 21 states and three countries,” said Robinson. “I was on that school board, on that panel, and that was the first connection with Black & Veatch here at the Edison Awards. That is why I am so pleased to make this special and very timely announcement about the CAPS Network’s partnership with the Charlotte Community Foundation.”
In a recent interview Shannon Treece, Director at Babcock Neighborhood School, expressed her excitement about the exploration of the integration of the CAPS program into Babcock High School. “During this school year, we will have a committee including myself, the administration, our director of curriculum and instruction, a few teachers, and when appropriate a few students as we determine our plan for implementation of the CAPS program. It will be extremely important we leverage our current resources, have a strategic plan to leverage outside resources, and garner student input on their interests to ensure success,” she said. “Our goal is to find the best opportunity for successful integration. Currently, we are considering offering engineering as our first pathway, if all goes as planned. While we have some ideas, we are also willing to go in a completely different direction if there are better options and opportunities presented in this strategic process.”