GO CAPS Lake Region has two strands of study so far - Medicine and Health Care and Engineering and Manufacturing. As the program builds, two more strands may be added for education and entrepreneurship.

The start of the new school year saw the launch of a new career program available to Camdenton High School upperclassmen.

So far, just a couple of students from CHS are dipping their toes in to GO CAPS along with several others from the two other schools involved.

Greater Ozarks Centers for Advanced Professional Studies Lake Region is a consortium of three school districts - Lebanon, Conway and Camdenton - that have joined together under a pre-existing program based around the Springfield region. GO CAPS was created to connect students to careers by exposing students to real-life job experiences in certain career fields.

A yearlong learning experience that allows high school juniors and seniors to test drive future career options, GO CAPS students develop real world professional skills as they are embedded in partner businesses.

The program not only helps students figure out what they want to do to help avoid wasting time and money but also helps businesses by helping create a pipeline of future qualified workers.

“We expose them to the numerous career possibilities in these broad areas to make them aware of opportunities they didn’t know existed in their own back yard. This is only successful with guidance from our business partners. Many provide curriculum input, facility tours, expert guest speakers, job showing experiences and real-world client problems for our students to solve,” according to information provided by coordinator Ann Hopper with the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce.

GO CAPS Lake Region has two strands of study so far - Medicine and Health Care and Engineering and Manufacturing. As the program builds, two more strands may be added for education and entrepreneurship.

As a sort of internship-mentorship program, students work 2.5 hours a day during the week - either a shift in the morning or in the afternoon, in which they drive themselves to the job.

Students can be fired from their jobs. They are required to complete a capstone project as part of the year-long program.

Part of the experience is also learning soft skills such as a strong work ethic, punctuality and being professional with customers or clients. The purpose is to introduce students to a work setting to help them grow professionally as well, working on displaying appropriate workplace behavior.

“We continuously work with our students on professional skills and they are evaluated on their ability to communicate, collaborate, to be creative, to think critically and to be accountable for themselves and their time,” she continued.

“Whether students enter the workforce immediately after high school, go on to seek certification or pursue a four year degree (or beyond), we want to bridge the gap between high school student skills and the skills you need for your workforce,” according to information provided by coordinator Ann Hopper with the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce.

To these ends, members of the Medicine and Health Care strand were scheduled to visit Lake Regional Hospital on Monday. On Tuesday, students in the Engineering and Manufacturing strand were set to go to Capital Materials in Linn Creek.