Guest editorial: PCCAPS needs ‘heavy restructuring’ before $5M building |

Guest editorial: PCCAPS needs ‘heavy restructuring’ before $5M building

Taylor Watkins, Park City High School Senior

As a business student at Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies (PCCAPS) I have personal insight into the program. I understand how it operates and the budget that is required to run CAPS. The program is currently funded $450,000 a year, which is excessive. CAPS may provide some students with valuable "real-world" experience but attempting to push the school board to grant a $5 million building rather than finding a place in the budget to renovate Treasure Mountain, which hasn’t had major renovations since it opened in 1982, will show the school board’s favoritism towards this questionable endeavor.

If anything, the PCCAPS budget and instructor salaries should be evaluated in relation to other instructors within the school district. While the PCCAPS’ director Jennifer Jackenthal’s implementation of the program has been impressive, I’m uncertain if her current role requires the high compensation she receives as compared to other instructors at Park City High School.

There are currently 72 students in the PCCAPS program. In fact, a significant amount of students would have dropped the course if Jackenthal didn’t go against school policy and implement a date after which you cannot abandon the program.

I enrolled in CAPS to gain the real-world experience that was presented by Jackenthal when she came and spoke in one of my classes last year. While I appreciate the opportunity and value the experience PCCAPS has provided, I don’t believe the $5 million funding is necessary to sustain PCCAPS. That money would be far better utilized where it is desperately needed within the Park City School District.

As PCCAPS continues I find the program is significantly different than how it was presented last year. The course itself is at times structured and managed ineffectively. During the first week all 72 students endured four 3.5 hour lectures about professionalism and handshakes, things that could have been taught within 15 minutes or less by the correct instructor.

The current PCCAPS facility has plenty of room, if not too much, for 72 students. There is no need for a two-story building encompassing solar energy and many other unnecessary amenities that don’t encourage what the program was created for, to establish a sense of experience in the real world and provide students with greater knowledge surrounding various aspects of business. If anything, this would make the CAPS program less "cross-functional" by creating isolated areas for each division.

Again, as a PCCAPS student, I believe that this program needs some heavy restructuring before a $5 million building is approved.

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