Questions & Answers

What do parents say about PCCAPS?

- 79% of parents attribute positive changes in their child due to the PCCAPS experience.

- "I have loved the program and I have loved watching my daughter grow and gain practical experience. She has learned responsibility and how to meet deadlines and interact with adults on a professional level. AWESOME program!!!"

- "This experience provided an opportunity for him to understand his worth, to accept and take on new challenges, to communicate effectively, and to learn how to schedule his time responsibly."

- "There is no substitute for actual experience."

- "Her self-confidence has increased and she loves school again."

- "He became more motivated about work."

- "This has been a fabulous experience for our son. I'm so very glad that he plans on participating again next year. I believe this will be the story that focuses his interest in college and beyond."

- Remarks from the PCCAPS 2015 Student/Parent Information Session

What do students say the best thing is about PCCAPS?

-"The experience of working with real people on things that I could actually end up doing later in life."

-"I loved my boss, my teacher, and how the class was taught. I learned a lot about what it takes to have a business."

-"Getting the real world experience and connections.

-"Learning about design and how I can apply it to a future job."

-"I thoroughly enjoyed Teacher Ed and Business has been quite enlightening."

-31% of PCCAPS students said they weren't sure about their college major and career plans and PCCAPS helped give them direction

-46% said they had a plan and PCCAPS helped them stay with it

-23% said they weren't sure before PCCAPS and still weren't sure after.

-Students learned:
- "life skills that I can take into the future"
- "I learned the skill of communication. Talking to clients and other intimidating people used to be difficult but now is as easy as counting to ten."
- "how to communicate with a client"
- "how to do a marketing plan.
- "how to create a website and design better."
- "communication, market research, dress, how to budget and create a marketing plan."
- "Presentation."
- "Mainly professionalism skills like giving presentations and communicating with clients."

What do Business Partners say about PCCAPS?

-"Any opportunity to engage with real work at an advanced level is priceless. Focus on the experiential value (of PCCAPS) and don't worry about anything else...not grades, fame or fortune. Just learn with an awake, observing eye/mind."

-"You will be doing your child a disservice by not taking advantage of this opportunity. Park City offers an exceptional education and PCCAPS is at the forefront."

-"I would put my child in a program like this. I hope eventually that all children can have access to tangible, meaningul curriculum that shows the inner workings of the desired industry the student is striving to be a part of one day."

-"The work is changing, and the competitive marketplace demands competence more than compliance. Let the students have more interaction with their future and the results will follow."

-"They (students) came up with great questions about our product and business and in the end developed some Guiding Principles that really hit the mark (despite that not being spelled out as a deliverable."

-PCCAPS provides a great opportunity to get fresh, young eyes and opinions on your business problem or project."

-"(The students) were more cpapable than I would have thought."

-"PCCAPS was beyond what I anticipated in terms of students' level of efforts, teachers' abilities, director's administration and my opportunities to contribute."

-"Students were very creative and excited to learn."

-"I was very impressed with the professionalism, competence and enthusiasm the students shared with my passion of Video Production. It was inspiring to see the new generation of kids that will eventually take over and put me out of business."

What do PCCAPS classes offer students?

The advantages for students are beyond purely academic gains. A wide variety of foundational professional practice skills, including the ability to present, collaborate, problem-solve, and appropriately use technology and manage projects are woven into the fabric of each themed program.

PCCAPS advances students' professional knowledge and skills in a personalized learning environment by:

  • Challenging each student in a way which requires him/her to evaluate and synthesize information from a variety of disciplines to solve a problem
  • Offering students the ability to explore a wide variety of interests
  • Providing learning opportunities, which extend beyond the walls of the high school.
  • Increasing options for college and non-college bound students
  • Providing an authentic hands-on, relevant and rigorous course of study with possible college credits in the student’s area of interest
  • Creating enthusiasm for lifelong learning by increasing student engagement
  • Providing challenging student and business project partnerships which result in ongoing professional connections laying the foundation of a business network for job acquisitions after college

Is PCCAPS a trade school or vocational program?

No. This is a college level, challenging and academically rigorous program which provides students the opportunity to deeply explore professions of interest through an industry-based learning method. Students will be working on real client projects for real companies. Will they learn some specific job-based skills? Yes. However, PCCAPS courses are not about becoming an expert at a particular skill (like programming, accounting or engineering design) but rather to develop the professional skills to interact with clients, to manage a project, collaborate with others, be adaptable and professional in a real-world evironment. Based on their PCCAPS experiences, students will be able to make more educated decisions about college majors and future careers.

Is this an internship program?

No. High school internships often involve - learning while watching, or doing more menial office work that does not give students clear perspective on what a career in this field would be like. PCCAPS affords students the ability to participate in the professional world completing authentic work projects – learning by doing in a consulting firm environment.

What are students saying about PCCAPS?

"CAPS has truly been an amazing experience. I now have my name on a patent, have started my own LLC and am thrilled about becoming an engineer in the future! CAPS gave me a unique feature on my college apps and an amazing grasp on my future." - Mina Berglund, PCCAPS Engineering student

"I learned so much more than I ever would in a classroom because I was a part of it and it was a very hands-on experience. It also helped me improve my communication and networking skills." Jamie Gribbin, PCCAPS Business student

"It is a good opportunity for kids who are wanting to experience what they would want to be like in the future or gaet a feel of how it will be once they set foot in the real world." - JiJi Atienza, PCCAPS Teacher Ed student

"I have learned an immense amount about new software, client communication, professionalism, and other real world skills I wasn't previously aware of." - Nick Silverii, PCCAPS Software Development student

"I loved working with our business partners. They were great to work with and I loved seeing the whole project come together. Every day I looked forward to being able to go meet with them." Anne Aries, PCCAPS Engineering student

What is the best thing about PCCAPS?
1. "Involvement in the real business world." - Chandler Anderson, PCCAPS Business student
2. "The environment and hands-on learning." - Bailey Smith, PCCAPS Business student
3. "How it is like an actual company...everyone can get done what they need to get done at their own pace." - Griffin Churich, PCCAPS Business student
4. "Working on real world projects." - Carrolyn Gonsalves, PCCAPS Business student
5. "Opportunities it opens up." - KC Morgan, PCCAPS Business student
6. "The hot chocolate. Just kidding, the experience of working with real businesses." - Anonymous, PCCAPS student
7. "You get to do what you enjoy for 3 hours every other day." - Sawyer Tibbitts, PCCAPS Interactive Design student
8. "The experience it provides." - Nathan Cohen, PCCAPS Interactive Design student
9. "The fact that students get actual real-world experience." - Kaelen Rzepiejewski, PCCAPS Interactive Design student
10. "Learning what real life is like and making your mistakes early." - Ethan Reynolds, PCCAPS Interactive Design student
11. "That you can get a portfolio ready and filled." - Max Hartley, PCCAPS Interactive Design student
12. "It lets you know what you are good at." - Madeline Meza, PCCAPS Interactive Design student
13. "The job experience and push for professionalism." - Anne Aries, PCCAPS Engineering student
14. "The people and connections you meet." - Paige DaBell, PCCAPS Engineering student
15. "How interactive it is." - Riley Weaver, PCCAPS Engineering student
16. "Real world experience." Carson Walker, PCCAPS Software Development student
17. "The experience of participating in a career and the people I got to meet." - Kendra Prince, PCCAPS Teacher Ed student
18. "You get real life experience and get to know what you want to do in the future." - Jenna Mosher, PCCAPS Teacher Ed student
19. "It was nice not having to sit in a classroom and we were able to be up and doing things." - Zach Hall, PCCAPS Teacher Ed student

"I'm interested in meeting with clients. After talking with them, I can work on a problem or take on a project. I will need to find the most efficient and best way to get it done." - Jens Dewell, PCHS class or '15

"You could actually make an impact on the community where it is not just credit for a class. You can prepare for the future, get those business skills you can't get in the classroom." - AJ Carpenter, PCHS class of '14

"In high school, everything is hypothetical. In the program, we will be dealing with actual problems, and solving them. It will be about completing real tasks and projects. I think it will help with college because it puts me one step ahead on business experience." - Sarah Lamphier, PCHS class of '15

When are courses taught?

PCCAPS will be available 3R and 4R. If there is enough demand, we will also offer the course 3W and 4W.

Where are courses taught?

PCCAPS has relocated and is now located inside the Park City High School library.

What are some example industry-based student projects from this year?

  • First semester we had 75 students and 42 projects....There is something for everyone
  • Build commuter match software and design the customer interface for Overstock.com.
  • Create a 3D animation game for UOP - design and software students
  • Design a sustainable home for Elliott Workgroup and Alliance Engineering
  • Create marketing campaigns for businesses; including web sites, social media strategies, and branding materials working with ProClass Web Design and others.
  • Develop and test a teen program for Canyons; including presenting through all levels of management to get buy in.
  • Explore the feasibility of entering the medical device market for Monterey Technologies. Then travel to California to present findings at annual company meeting.
  • Work with clients at Adobe headquarters in California to select the best internal software tool for corporate time tracking.
  • Design and create a video for ThinkHeadFirst's website.
  • Work with Skull Candy on 6 different projects (Projects include proprietary information and cannot be shared here)
  • Work with The People's Health Clinic to collect and interpret big data. Present findings to board as a means for the clinic to raise additional funds from townships/counties that patients come from for services.
  • Design, research and present solar feasibility study to the school district working with Alpenglow Solar, Mountain Regional Water and Siemens
  • Reinvent the curriculum for a particular subject/class/lesson integrating technology and new methods for student engagement. Teach 3rd grade French.
  • Use 3D printer to create parts you have designed for Skull Candy
  • Design and develop and IED seeking robot for Hill Airforce Base

See also Student Work

Can I get credit for PCCAPS courses?

Yes. Students will earn 1.0 high school CTE credit for their first semester in the PCCAPS program and students may be eligible for college credit as well. ART credits are also available in the Interactive Design class. Students taking a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th semester of PCCAPS may be eligible for additional CTE credits or elective credits. Check with your counsellor.

How are students graded?

In all PCCAPS courses students will learn how to research, design, develop and deliver a project using classic project development phases. They will be responsible for certain deliverables throught and be exposed to the nuances of strategic business thinking, the creative process, project feasibility and working with clients. Upon completing PCCAPS courses students will be able to apply their learning to any other projects they tackle in the academic or professional environment.

Students are graded on the ongoing documentation, process, project management and result of the project culminating in the final client presentation.

Final student grades are based on - Professionalism and Deliverables

20% - Student Professionalism - Code of conduct, self presentation, work ethic, preparation, collaboration/teamwork.

Deliverables - each project document, presentation and deliverable will be graded on.
- 20% - End deliverable - The actual documentation and presentation
- 20% - Communication - Effective written, oral and non-verbal. Effective use of communication channels. Active listening.
- 20% - Functional Skills - Harnessing current and acquiring new academic and professional skills as necessary for the project.
- 20% - Critical Thinking & Problem Solving - Critical thinking - Research and problem solving. Ability to make good judgements and decisions. Creative process and solution identification. Strategic big picture perspective. Why are we making this decision? How will it impact the market and financial positions of the client?

Instructors will post grades for the quarter and for the semester. They are not expected to post grades more frequently for PCCAPS classes. During the semester, we want students at PCCAPS driven by results not grades.

Is this an easy A? Absolutely not but the students tell us it's a "fun A." Are students capable of achieving a high grade in a PCCAPS course? Yes. It is really not hard. It simply requires active participation.

How do I apply to the PCCAPS program?

Applications are available on our website (Click "Apply Now" in the top menu bar). Courses are offered in the Park City High School course catalog and registratin is with all other PCHS courses. All students registering for PCCAPS courses must ALSO apply online. We expect space to be limited.

What are the requirements to enroll?

Students interested in the PCCAPS program need to:

  1. Be juniors or seniors
  2. Want to work in a project and problem-based real world environment with other students and professionals
  3. Be willing to comply with business ethics and dress codes.
  4. Be willing to regularly spend time away from the high school during PCCAPS class hours
  5. Be able to access transportation (via public transit or private vehicle) to and from the PCCAPS facility and business partner sites in the Park City area. Carpooling and city buses are options.(Some satellites are within walking distance of the high school).

How is PCCAPS different than CTE?

CTE Pathways are designed to "assure strong academic and technical preparation" for careers and most PCCAPS courses are CTE credit. PCCAPS courses give students the opportunity to tackle industry-based projects outside school walls and literally begin their professional careers in high school. Many of our students will complete a 2 or 4-year college degree to be fully qualified for their career of choice. PCCAPS is not attempting to train students to begin their careers but to give them a window into their future and determine if they want to proceed on that path. The PCCAPS program will help students develop professional skills and attributes through experience creating a clear bridge from school learning to professional success.

Why would an AP student participate in the PCCAPS program?

AP courses at PCHS are top quality with excellent teachers. Students gain powerful academic experience from these courses. Often students taking AP classes are doing so to test out for college credit and/or to gain an advantage in admission to top colleges. While each college has different admission standards, showing the ability to complete real-world interdisciplinary projects is proving to differentiate students on college and scholarship applications and, as William Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions at Harvard says, "It's crazy for students to think they must take four or five or six advanced-placement courses because colleges demand it."
PCCAPS courses are a complement to AP courses and give students another option for their learning experience.

Do I have to be an AP student to participate?

No. There are no GPA or course prerequisites to take a PCCAPS course. We recognize students have different learning styles and while classroom learning may be a great fit for some, project based, hands-on learning is better suited for others. Genius is not only about classroom achievement. Bill Gates dropped out of college to create Microsoft. All STUDENTS MUST APPLY to PCCAPS online AND register for the course during PCHS registration in March.

Is this an easy "A"?

Nothing worth taking is an easy A. PCCAPS will be an amazing experience. It will be work but it won't be overwhelming. Is there homework? It is the same kind of "homework" people with professional careers have: If you have work to get done outside of class, you will have to do it. If you used your time effectively during class, you probably won't be up till midnight.

How is the student’s learning experience structured at PCCAPS?

Students will complete real-world projects during the semester. Although some projects may be structured for individual contribution, most students will work with team members to complete projects for their client business partners. Collaboration is a key skill developed at PCCAPS. Learning is student driven; the students' clients, teachers and mentors facilitate the process and guide students through their projects.

In addition to having access to high quality instructors and interacting with professionals in the business community, guest speakers and workshops will be presented as appropriate for groups of students. PCCAPS mentors are experienced professionals who help oversee and guide the project on the Business Partner side or directly assist entrepreneurial students in developing their business. Each student will have a personalized learning experience in the context of rigorous academic content.

What professional areas will PCCAPS target?

The program is driven by the changing workforce needs of industry, therefore instructors and PCCAPS Business Partners coauthor all PCCAPS coursework. Curriculum is dynamic; constantly evolving to follow industry trends and market changes. Course offerings include the following four subject areas:

  • Business Strategy I-IV: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing and Finance
  • Technology Solutions I-IV: Computer software and mobile app design and development
  • Engineering I-IV: Principles - not just for engineers. Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Methods
  • Teaching in 2020 I-II: Integrating technology into future K-12 learning and innovating the education model

Courses span a wide variety of industries from solar, medical devices, consumer goods, software services, e-commerce and non-profits. Our business partners may be international companies or small start-ups. There is the right fit for every PCCAPS student.

The curriculum is built on industry standards, within each of the broad themes and there are many opportunities for students to customize their learning. The idea is that the door is open to personalize the students learning in a way that it contributes to their future success.

Where does PCCAPS get its funding?

The Park City School District is committed to advancing our students' learning to include skills required to succeed in the 21st century professional work force. Many of these skills cannot be taught in a purely traditional school environment. We believe developing innovative new programs dramatically increases the future success of our students. PCCAPS has received $306,550 in grants.($225,000 from the Utah Department of Workforce Services, $77,200 from the Park City Education Foundation, $1,500 from the Park City Foundation, $2,850 from Utah Valley University). The balance is funded by the school district.

In addition, volunteer mentor/client hours average 400 hours per semester. This is a significant contribution by the business community.

What is a Business Partner?

Any company that provides mentors, speakers, real world projects, guest instructors, curriculum input and/or is an investor in the program. Business partners also comprise a large part of the PCCAPS advisory board.

What are the benefits for businesses that participate?

Is your company or non-profit involved in business, engineering, IT or virtually any other industry? Do you have challenging projects that will train students in key skills for employability or gain college scholarships? Maybe you have a project that has been on the back burner because of lack of staff? Or another that needs more hands-on participants? Our students want to participate in making a difference for your company. They can build applications, design products, develop financial services tools, develop and execute marketing plans - including social media, conduct feasibility studies and much more. PCCAPS is an example of how private industry and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the workforce of tomorrow. Let us know what needs you have and we will work to match you up with qualifying students. Your contribution to the community and education will be recognized.

How do I become a Business Partner?

Contact Caleb Fine, Program Director at cfine@pcschools.us or call 435-659-4847.

How do I contribute financially?

Park City Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) located at the high school. Contact Abby McNulty, Executive Director at amcnulty@pcschools.us or 435.615.0235 x1. Website is www.pcef4kids.org

How can I get involved?

We recommend you visit PCCAPS during class hours to see how you can fit as a mentor or client. PCCAPS mentors range from retired CEOs to entrepreneurs and specialized engineers. There is something here for everyone who wants to get involved. Contact Caleb Fine via email at cfine@pcschools.us to set up a time to tour PCCAPS.

How much time will be required?

As much or as little time as you are able to give. Some people participate once a semester. Others are here every day class is in session. Chances are we can work with you to provide both you and our students a great experience.

Am I qualified to be a mentor?

If you are employed by a company, or self-employed in a field that relates to any of the PCCAPS coursework, then you are qualified. Students can receive valuable learning from your work expertise and experiences and are eager to learn from you. To take the next step, contact Caleb Fine via email at cfine@pcschools.us.