FHSD Partners with Spectrum to Offer Real-World Learning in CAPS Program

Posted on 11/29/2017
FHSD Partners with Spectrum to Offer Real-World Learning in CAPS Program

A new program in the Francis Howell School District is opening doors for high school juniors and seniors. FHSD’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) program is a professionbased learning approach where students are fully immersed in the business community, treated as professionals, and participate in real projects, using industry standard tools with real business partners.

“The CAPS program is a great example of how business, community and public education can come together to prepare students today for success tomorrow,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Hendricks-Harris. “Through this program, students will be able to jump-start their career before they enter college by gaining real-world skills and building a professional network.”

The FHSD CAPS program will begin with one course strand, Technology Solutions, and will launch with 13 students, starting in the second semester of the 2017-18 school year. Students will gain professional skills in high demand, high skill technology solutions careers such as software engineering, graphic design, web development, and IT network support. They will collaborate with mentors and business partners to produce client projects and design their own products or prototypes. Students will have an opportunity to learn from guest speakers from many technology areas and make site visits to local businesses highlighting technology.

Francis Howell Central High School Senior Evan Western is excited to take part in the CAPS program to gain real-world experience. “Going into businesses in the computer field can be difficult when you walk into your job for the first time, especially if you have no idea what to expect. Having the opportunity to job shadow and do internships for these businesses will give me the basic experience I need when I do enter the workforce in the computer science field,” said Western. “Another important thing to me about entering this program will be all the professional connections I can make, which could help me get a job in the future.”

The District is proud to partner with Spectrum as the flagship sponsor of the FHSD CAPS program. Spectrum is one of the nation’s leading technology companies providing TV, internet, and voice and has more than 4,000 employees in the St. Louis area. Because the company’s Information Technology (IT) division is based in St. Louis, Spectrum can enlist local IT leaders to work with students and provide hands-on experience in computer science. Spectrum will provide each student with a mentor instructor, as well as necessary technology for the job while providing practical learning through technology projects. Spectrum will also provide career experience opportunities that relate to the students’ academic and career interest to help them prepare for college and future jobs.

Craig Lalumandier, Group Vice President of IT at Spectrum, says he’s excited for Spectrum to have the opportunity to participate in the CAPS Program. “At Spectrum, we understand the importance of cultivating new talent in the technology space. It is critically important for today’s workers to have technical and interpersonal skills to be successful. The CAPS Program is a wonderful opportunity for us to partner with the Francis Howell School District to help students build both skill sets.”   

Classes will be held at Spectrum’s office located in Maryland Heights. Morning and afternoon class sessions will be held five days a week, and students will earn 1.5 high school credits and possible college credit.

Other partners supporting the program include Mastercard, and FHSD is still seeking additional businesses, non-profit organizations, and industry professionals to collaborate with the District in preparing the future workforce. Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, FHSD will join a CAPS Consortium with other St. Charles County school districts, expanding the offerings available to students.

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