Educational CAPS program to show film in Park City

Chris Humbert, middle, talks with Victoria Olson, right, and Fox Croasmunchristensen about an engineering project with PCCAPS. The CAPS program will be featured during a film screening on Monday.
Park Record File Photo

Park City High School adopted an experiential learning model from the Center for Advanced Professional Studies, or CAPS, several years ago. The program provides real-life work experience to high school students by connecting them with businesses. It has been successful for students and businesses in Park City and beyond, and the CAPS program wants everyone to know.

The center is touring the U.S. to show a film about the program, and Park City was one of eight towns selected across the country for the tour. Caleb Fine, assistant principal at the high school, said the event is an opportunity for educators and residents from around Utah to learn about CAPS. The event is set to take place at the Eccles Center on Monday, April 15.

The event will include the screening of a documentary about the CAPS program called “Where Students Lead.” It features students from CAPS programs in other states. A panel made up of Park City students and businesses that have been involved in the PCCAPS program will answer questions about the program after the film. Corey Mohn, executive director at Blue Valley CAPS in Kansas, is set to moderate the panel.

The event is open to the public, Fine said. Tickets are $20, but attendees are able to use the promo code CAPSNETYES to attend the event for free, Find said.

He wants teachers, business leaders, students and parents to attend. He said the program is beneficial to students because they work on real projects with real businesses. Students work with mentors, who assign them projects such as designing an art studio or creating a business plan for a new start-up.

“I think what is powerful about what CAPS does is that they’re trying to give students ownership over their learning and giving them an experience that they see how it translates to the real world,” he said. Fine said students gain professional skills from the program because they interact with adults and have to meet project deadlines. Plus, students are able to try out different career paths in high school to see if it is a career they want to pursue.

He said the CAPS program meets the needs of the community by training students based on the local economy. A program in another state might have an agriculture or aerospace track, for example, but Park City’s tracks are business strategy, digital design, software development, engineering, teacher education and sports medicine.

“We are responsive to our community,” he said.

Fine said he and other CAPS leaders came up with the idea to create a film because the organization wants to bring the method to other schools around the country. They hope to grow the network of schools in order to share expertise and collaborate with other schools about what works for them and what does not.

Students in the CAPS program started gathering footage about their own experiences, and a production company put the film together last year. The film has been touring since March 20.

“The film is an experiential learning story,” Fine said.

For more information about the CAPS program or the film, visit


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