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


Thank you to these Businesses & Organizations that Support CAPS

The CAPS Program is a unique and innovative educational program that provides students with opportunities to explore and learn about various career fields through real-world experiences. The CAPS program offers a wide range of courses designed to expose students to different industries and professions, including healthcare, engineering, business, trades, and many others, while preparing all students for their purpose.


An award-winning mobile entertainment company providing unique and deeply engaging games that appeal to a broad, global audience. With an office located in Cedar Falls, Iowa.


Supporting, enhancing and expanding opportunities throughout Cedar Falls Community Schools.  For projects and programs that fall outside public funding.

Partner/ Summit

A planning, architecture, and interior firm based in Iowa. To keep pace with a rapidly changing world, we approach every project with passion and purpose.


Partner/ Host

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


Partner/ Host

A connected system of health care facilities and services dedicated to helping you and your community live your best life.


Partner/ Host

The University of Northern Iowa is ranked second in the “Top Public Schools Regional University (Midwest)” category, according to U.S. News & World Report.


Partner/ Industries

Building the future of our families, clients and communities. With award-winning design-build, construction management, and development services.

Mentor/ Industries

Contributions through sponsorships and donations help CAPS continue to provide student associates with unique and valuable experiences that will prepare them for their purpose. Dollars are used to fund equipment and supplies needed for the program beyond general fund support and professional development opportunities for our instructors and staff. Funding also supports other activities that support the overall growth and success of CAPS, and the student associates served.

By supporting the Cedar Falls CAPS Program, you invest in our student associates' education and future success. 

Contributions can be made to the Cedar Falls School Foundation (Select CAPS from the Drop Down Menu)



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.

"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

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 >>

Scholarship Opportunities

Juhl Scholarship

Ronald Juhl, CFHS '59, established this scholarship out of gratitude for the teachers who impacted his life. Award preference is given to a student who has completed at least one semester of CAPS, emphasizing construction/ trades.

Learn More

MIRAE Scholarship

MIRAE aims to recruit and develop multicultural students into education for future employment. This scholarship is given to a multicultural student pursuing a degree in education who has completed a semester of the CAPS Education program.

Learn More

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 UNI. You will receive a minimum of $1,000 CAPS scholarship by identifying that.

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

Kelsie Kunkle

Business Development

Mae Lillibridge, BSN

Instructor, Medical & Health Services; CNA

TJ Warren

Instructor, Careers; College & Career Counselor

Dr. Andy Pattee

Superintendent of Schools

Tara Estep

Executive Director of Enrichment and Special Programs

Ethan Wiechmann

Program 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 us 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