Infinite possibilities through real-world experiences in the community setting with engaged business partners in the Cedar Valley Region of Iowa

What is CAPS?
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Preparing ALL Students for Their PURPOSE

"CAPS is a great experience that will tear you down & build you from the ground up into a better person. Your weaknesses will become your strengths. Your strengths will become your gifts. It sounds scary, but you will become a better person & professional." - CV CAPS Alumni

"We make professionals!"


Since 2017, the Center for Advanced Professional Studies at Cedar Falls has taken students outside of the traditional classroom and immerses them in professional environments to help them better prepare for them for their purpose.

Student-Associates develop problem-solving and professional skills to work on real projects for real business clients. This experience along with focused development on career exploration helps prepare each of them for their purpose beyond their life as a student. CF CAPS is an example of how business, community and education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the workforce of tomorrow, especially in high skill, high-demand jobs.

CF CAPS is a STEM BEST model of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council and an affiliate of Cedar Valley CAPS



The Cedar Valley CAPS programs are built on a customized framework that supports profession-based learning to prepare students for their purpose

Are You Interested in Learning More About CAPS? Check out these Podcasts

If you are a school administrator, teacher, or local school advocate interested in learning more about the CAPS concept at Cedar Falls, check out the posts below.

Part 1: Overview of the Cedar Falls/ Cedar Valley CAPS Programs

Part 2: Business Partners & the Value of Working with CAPS

Part 3: Student-Associates and the Impact CAPS Has on Their Futures

Thank You to These Program Sponsors

Through the generous support of these companies and organizations, CAPS is able to build on our mission of Preparing ALL Students for Their Purpose for hundreds of students in the region.

Partner Host

Iowa's only regional comprehensive university, UNI provides real, relevant academic experiences for a world that expects future-ready graduates.


Jam City connects people around the world through great games

Partner Host

A leading manufacturer of spun metal components and fabrication parts, with the main focus on being a solution provider for customers' problems and maintaining a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Mentor Host
Mentor Host
Mentor Host

INVISION Architecture

Friend of CAPS

If you are interested in supporting the CAPS program with a financial investment in our future workforce in the Cedar Valley.
Please connect with us to see how you can get involved.

"CAPS gives students the freedom and independence to do and pursue their interests. I gained social skills, communication abilities, the ability to work on a team and leadership skills.  More importantly, I gained a lot of confidence in who I am and where I am going." - Frank & Jacob - CF CAPS Alumni, Summer '19

"Honestly without the CAPS program, and the supportive instructors all around, I'm not sure if I would've figured out I wanted to be a nurse." - Erin - CF CAPS Alum, Spring '17

"I thought that the Oral Communication training went hand in hand with our CAPS experience. Without this class built-in to CAPS, we would not have done as well on speeches and in our communication within teams. It was also very nice to get all of the credits completed in one class." - CF CAPS Alum, Fall '21

A Journey with Be The Match: From Design Sprint to Event

Cedar Valley CAPS programs helping students hone skills, career int...


The Network: Launching and Scaling of CAPS in the Cedar Valley

CF CAPS Pathways

Course Industry Strands

Most CF CAPS Experiences also include Fundamentals of Oral Communication credit as well

Business Solutions

Exploring opportunities in areas such as Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Sales, Design, Promoting, Accounting, Finance, Law, Hospitality, Social Media, Tourism and more


High school is the perfect time for students to learn, explore and work on projects in career fields that interest them and help them find their purpose. CAPS Careers is a course that pays extra attention to that exploration and connects student associates to people and pathways to reach that target.


Earn a Certified Nursing Aid certificate through a special partnership with Western Home Communities, while also gaining training to develop problem-solving and professional skills.

Education & Training

Be prepared to become a transformational teacher by learning what works in the classroom, interacting with students and creating tools for student success.


A unique industrial technology program, CAPS style.  Embedded within the construction and manufacturing industry and partnering with Habitat for Humanity and local construction partners to make a real impact in the community.

Medical & Health Services

Exploration of Health Sciences and Medicine is a scientific, inquiry-based experience to advance the student’s understanding of patient care, human physiology, disease process, research and ethics.

Preparing You for Your Purpose

Becoming an Associate

Visit with your School Counselor to learn more.

Go to CFHS School Counseling >>

CAPS Scholarship

Students involved in a Cedar Valley CAPS program, or with any other CAPS Network affiliated program, have the following opportunity to earn a scholarship toward their enrollment at the University of Northern Iowa. By identifying that you will receive a minimum of $1,000 CAPS scholarship.

Learn More

The Cedar Falls CAPS Team

Professionals with experienced backgrounds in leadership, coaching, consulting, education, economic development, business, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, robotics, media, sciences, mathematics, planning and more.
Heidi Anderson

CAPS Communications Coach

Megan Droste

Instructor, Education & Training; Instructional Support Coach

Diane Flaherty

Cedar Valley CAPS Instructional Support Coach, CAPS Legend

David Grund

Instructor, Industries (Construction & Trades)

Mark Hoskinson

Instructor, Business Solutions

Gary Koenan

Auxiliary Instructor, CAPS LEGEND

Mae Lillibridge, BSN

Instructor, Medical & Health Services; CNA

Chris Wood

Instructor, Careers; College & Career Counselor

Dr. Andy Pattee

Superintendent of Schools

Tara Estep

Executive Director of Enrichment and Special Programs

Ethan Wiechmann

Program Director

Nate Clayberg, CEcD

Business & Program Development Director

"CAPS is the appropriate way for regional businesses to engage with high schools. It is the bridge between business and education."

Mark Kittrell, Eagle View Partners & Iowa Economic Development Authority Board Member

CF CAPS Advisory Board


It may be too late for you to be a student-associate in CAPS, but it is never too late to get involved in supporting Profession Based Learning in the Cedar Valley.

Become a Mentor


Do you have a project that has sat as the 8th, 9th or 10th item on your To-Do List? If you don't have the time to work on it, you can trust our Associates to take your project to the next level.


True Return on Investment

This is not an ordinary education program.  Cedar Falls CAPS has had a true impact on local economic development in the Cedar Valley.  

Invest in CAPS

"I wish I would have had CAPS when I was in high school!”

- Business Partners, Parents, former CFHS Alumni