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Northland CAPS Wraps Up Fourth Successful Year

May 2017

More than 300 students from seven Northland high schools have completed the 2016-17 Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS).

Founded with assistance from the EDC, the program immerses high school seniors in high-demand career environments through a mixture of internships, mentorships and other real-world experiences. Students are placed in the business community, treated as professionals and participate in real projects, using industry-standard tools with real business partners.

Students work in class every day for 2.5 hours, earning both high school and college credit. Northland CAPS courses are facilitated by a certified instructor and are located at the business partner’s site.

At the beginning of the year, each student selects one of several “strands” for his or her study and internship: digital media and design, engineering and advanced manufacturing, global business and entrepreneurship, global logistics and, the largest, medicine and healthcare.

Executive Director Sandy Henshaw said the class of 2017 just completed their spring internships and will complete three weekly community service projects during May. Staff members, including two new instructors who joined the program this year, are also working to prepare for summer internships and the jump to 425 students this fall when the program begins its fifth year.

A key to the program’s success has been the way Northland businesses have embraced it, Henshaw said. “Our business partnerships and the way the businesses have reached out has been phenomenal,” she noted. “We have over 400 businesses that are working with us in different capacities, from internship hosts to mentors, guest speakers and more. That’s what makes this tick.”

Most of all, the students are getting an intense, direct look at what it takes to succeed. “Our kids are learning firsthand what it takes to be successful when they get out of school,” Henshaw concluded. “It’s very exciting.”

For additional information, visit or contact Sandra Henshaw at or by calling 816-214-1722.

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