Blue Valley CAPS Program Recognizes K-State Olathe with Investor Award

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

by Kristi Northcutt

The Blue Valley Unified School District awarded Kansas State University Olathe the 2011-2012 Investor Award for their partnership in the CAPS program (Center for Advanced Professional Studies).

CAPS is an example of how industry and education work together to produce learning experiences which prepare students for 21st century opportunities. Junior and senior level students from all Blue Valley high schools explore their interests in a profession-based learning approach that is student-driven, with teachers facilitating the learning process through problem-based projects and relevant work assignments.

Director of K-12 Science Education Partnerships Micheal Strohschein served as a mentor to the CAPS program, providing ongoing curriculum support last academic year, and CEO Dan Richardson served on the advisory board. Students in the bioscience and engineering strands visited the K-State Olathe campus to observe the industry labs and academic opportunities available. Additionally, a summer camp was developed with the K-State College of Engineering.

According to Richardson, “In addition to learning more about specific topics, the mentoring of students by professionals from industry, academia, business, and government provides the participating students with inside knowledge of the career expectations and preparation needed to succeed.”

In the coming academic year, K-State Olathe will provide mentorship, curriculum support, classroom speakers, site visits, innovative projects, and will work collaboratively with the Kansas Bioscience Authority to provide shadowing opportunities for the CAPS students.

“Students who have participated in the Blue Valley CAPS program demonstrate the maturity and desire to learn what colleges wish to see in applicants,” said Strohschein. “The signature aspect of the program is that it provides a learning environment where the mentors and the students each bring value to the partnership.”

For more information about the Blue Valley CAPS program, visit For more information about Kansas State University Olathe and science education partnerships, visit or contact Strohschein at 913-307-7342 or by email at