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K-State Today

August 27, 2012



Kansas State University Olathe receives the Investor Award from Blue Valley Unified School District

By Kristi Northcutt

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

The Center for Advanced Professional Studies is an example of how industry and education work together to produce learning experiences that 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.

Micheal Strohschein, director of K-12 Science Education Partnerships at K-State Olathe, served as a mentor to the program providing ongoing curriculum support last academic year, while 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.

“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," Richardson said.

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

“Students who have participated in the Blue Valley CAPS program demonstrate the maturity and desire to learn what colleges wish to see in applicants,” Strohschein said. “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 Center for Advanced Professional Studies program, visit www.bvcaps.org. For more information about Kansas State University Olathe and science education partnerships, visit www.olathe.k-state.edu or contact Strohschein at 913-307-7342 or mistroh@k-state.edu.