What is CAPS?
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Preparing ALL Students for THEIR PURPOSE

CF CAPS Industries Instructor Dave Grund and his team began renovations in the fall of 2021 of a 1920s era home on Bluff Street in Cedar Falls. This is being done in partnership with Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity.

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

Dec 26, 2021


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


"We make professionals!"


For over five years, The Center for Advanced Professional Studies takes students outside of the traditional classroom and immerses them in professional environments

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

Featured Podcasts

CF CAPS has had the opportunity to be a part of a number of podcasts over the last couple of years.  We have found that these featured episodes can give a very clear insight into what CAPS is and the impact it can have not just on the student associates, but local businesses and communities as a whole.  We invite you to click on the episodes below to learn more about how Cedar Falls and Cedar Valley CAPS have made that impact since we launched our first cohort in January 2017.

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

Dec 26, 2021

Business Partners & the Value of Working with Cedar Valley CAPS


Student-Associates and the Impact CAPS Has on Their Futures

Overview of the Cedar Falls/ Cedar Valley CAPS Programs

Understanding Your Financial Aid - Spring 2021


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

Frank & Jacob

"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."

Erin O.

"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."

CF CAPS Pathways

Course Industry Strands

Business Solutions

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


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.


New for FALL 2021, A unique industrial technology program, CAPS style.  Embedded within the construction and manufacturing industry and partnering with Habitat for Humanity 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.

Robotics & Engineering

Are you interested in engineering, technology, or manufacturing? Do you want to explore careers in any field including environmental science and community planning? In this strand, you will use your knowledge and skills to create solutions to world problems.

Preparing You for Your Purpose

Becoming an Associate

Visit with your School Counselor to learn more.

Go to CFHS School Counseling >>

The Cedar Falls CAPS Team

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

Heidi Anderson

CAPS Communications Coach

Nate Clayberg, CEcD

Business & Program Development Director

Megan Droste

Instructor, Education & Training and Instructional Support Coach

Diane Flaherty

Cedar Valley CAPS Instructional Support Coach

David Grund

Instructor, Industries (Construction & Trades)

Gary Koenan

Auxiliary Instructor, CAPS LEGEND

Mae Lillibridge, BSN

Instructor, Medical & Health Services

Kenton Swartley

Instructor, Robotics & Engineering and District STEM Coordinator

Ethan Wiechmann

CAPS Program Director

Chris Wood

Instructor, Business Solutions and High School College & Career Counselor

"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 languished as the 8th, 9th or 10th item on your To-Do List? Trust our Associates to take your project to the next level.


True Return on Investment

This is not an ordinary education program.  CF 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