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New Year. New Semester. New Blog.

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

Welcome to the inaugural post of and by Park City's Center for Advanced Professional Studies (PCCAPS). Coming to you live (ish) from Park City High School.

Why? Because we have lots to contribute to the Project Based Learning discourse. Also, our students, instructors, business partners and mentors are eager to share their PCCAPS experiences.


What's new with PCCAPS?

New Website:

New Social Media: Follow, share & tag us on the platforms below by using @PCCAPS

New Student Workflow: SCRUM

Agile project management frameworks are a big part of today's workplace operations. From Salesforce to Spotify, companies have adopted systems for turning ideas and stakeholder demands into tangible products for the marketplace. We've chosen to test the waters by implementing the practices and principles of SCRUM this semester. SCRUM is a way to organize complex tasks and multidisciplinary teams.

The objectives of adopting industry workflow language into the classroom are to:

  • give students a tool to organize their tasks

  • define and design project deliverables

  • structure the semester schedule into six sprint work cycles

  • challenge students to estimate time

  • break complex ideas into smaller, manageable pieces

  • practice communication

  • discover the value of self-reflection and project retrospectives

  • identify actionable solutions to project roadblocks

Extending a big thank you to Treasure Mountain Junior High School Computer Science teacher, Ben Mueller, for sharing his innovative and engaging, two-day lesson on SCRUM using legos!

New Projects, Business Partners & Mentors

Professionals from the following new partners graciously volunteered to pay their industry knowledge forward this semester. Our project kickoff day was inspiring! Melissa Anderson, Product Manager from Salesforce led the students through organizing their backlog of tasks and shared valuable insight on her career pathway. We look forward to showing off student deliverables in May!

We welcome the following professionals into the PCCAPS family of mentors:

Melissa Anderson, Product Manager, Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud

Dave Evans, Retired Engineer, Former General Manager of Mountain Regional Water

Cheryl Butler, Retired Engineer, PetroChemical Industry

New Partnership with Park City Toastmasters: Public Speaking Skill Reinforcement

The art of public speaking is not innate. Who better to help PCCAPS students develop this skill than Park City Toastmasters? We value our new relationship because they provide tools and exercises to help students uncover the "why" of their presentations, as well as how posture, cadence and volume contribute to effective delivery. Special thanks to Club President, Ashley Pennewell for helping to facilitate our need for instruction and to Toastmasters Marielle Pariseau and David Wintzer for sharing your knowledge and feedback with our students.


Remind me, what is PCCAPS?

PCCAPS is an elective for 11th & 12th graders in which students acquire and develop "Success Skills" (a.k.a. 21st Century Skills) through working on real-world projects for companies and organizations. Project types fall within the industry fields of engineering, coding, business solutions, health science, digital design and teaching as a profession. Students work with "clients" and have the option of onsite visits with their clients. Student experience is guided by the principles of Project Based Learning (PBL): a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.

In combination with fundamental knowledge, project based learning structures like PCCAPS facilitate growth in: collaboration, problem solving, self management, effective communication, perseverance and professionalism.

PCCAPS provides a supportive environment where students self-discover how real-world teams function to produce solutions and deliverables. Volunteer mentors from a wide range of professions serve to support program goals by offering project feedback throughout the semester.


Benefits of PCCAPS:

  • Students learn techniques, tools and practices to self manage their tasks.

  • Increase in critical thinking opportunities.

  • Realizations that self-assessment is critical to progress.

  • Reduction in fear of embarking on an unfamiliar territory.

  • Increased engagement due to relevant subject matter.

  • Varying learning styles shine when students are invested in what they are doing.

  • Establish relationships with mentors and learn about the power of networking.

  • Contacts for letters of recommendations become available.

  • Projects become additions on students' resumes.

  • Students can dabble in fields prior to committing to expensive degree programs.

  • Entrepreneurial leaning students get exposure to real entrepreneurial bases of support.


Recognition of our generous supporter

But for the generosity of Park City Education Foundation and their donors, Park City School District would not be able to provide this unique and innovative experience for students.


Want to be a guest blogger?

We'd love to have your insight! Click image below to view our Guest Blogger Kit.



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