At PCCAPS our goal is to fast-forward students over college into their area of professional interest by giving them real-world project experience for real companies. Last year, 122 students completed 66 projects for 37 clients with the help of 41 mentors. This unique professional experience helps them develop skills they need to succeed in the 21st century global workforce. PCCAPS courses allow students to explore Technology, Business, Interactive Design, Engineering and Teaching by interfacing with professionals in the “real” world as clients and mentors. PCCAPS courses are not internships or vocational tech classes. These are high school courses where learning takes place off-campus during regular school hours in a consulting firm type environment. Students earn high school credit and begin their professional network while developing transferrable skills for future careers. Students gain skills and insight into their college major / career direction. There are no GPA requirements or course pre-requisites; students at PCCAPS range from AP Physicsand robotics brainiacs to students with learning challenges. Projects are assigned to students based on their experience and interests. Our goal is student success. Space is limited.

The Challenge

Employers agree: High school and college graduates are not prepared for the challenges of careers in the real world. Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap, notes:

The new survival skills required in today's world of work are "neither taught nor tested even in our best school systems."

They are:

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Collaboration across Networks
  • Leading by Influence
  • Agility and Adaptability
  • Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
  • Effective Oral & Written Communication
  • Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • Curiosity and Imagination

"All are necessary characteristics of desired employees by CEO’s of a surprisingly diverse group of companies."

The Opportunity

PCCAPS gives students the opportunity to develop and hone their career survival skills by practicing them, every day. Courses prepare students for the “real world" by immersing them in it. Licensed instructors provide guidance. Executives provide insight. Projects and professionalism training provide the framework. Students, businesses and our economy reap the benefits.

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

2014-15 Student Survey Results