Is the CAPS business program really worth it?


Juniors Olivia Zastrow (far left), Alayna Royal (second left), Abigail Gilliat ( second right) and Jillian Huellinghoff (far right) are presenting their social media campaign to the directors on the board of Downtown Washington.

Four Rivers Career Center offers 2 to 3-hour college credit, career-based programs that high school students in the region have the opportunity to attend. FRCC’s mission is that they “strive to be a premier career and technical institution using current industry technology to assist our students on their path to becoming highly trained professionals.” The center is located in downtown Washington, where students are asked to drive individually during the school day for their morning or afternoon session.  

A new and upcoming program FRCC offers is CAPS Global Business and Entrepreneurship. CAPS’ mission is for “young businessmen and women to develop new companies in our community by inspiring, educating, and innovating for professional success in a dynamic, global environment.” The course teaches their students “the foundations of business needed to start companies while developing skills and talents necessary to invent their careers.” However the program’s amount and size of classrooms do limit their enrollment, will this problem lose student interest in general?

What sticks out within the program to keep students interested? “ It’s a hands-on experience taught by the community leaders, where we are downtown taking action with the businesses,” said Junior Abi Gilliat. What hands-on activities or projects would they do to learn about business/entrepreneurship? “Our Downtown Washington project where in our groups we were asked to find a way or business to increase the foot traffic with our age demographic in downtown,” said Junior Nick Lucido. “ In our group, we came up with a multipurpose sports center. Then after making our full business plan, we presented it to the director of downtown Washington and the committee,”  said Senior Brayden McCulloch. 

Other groups were asked to cover more of the marketing side of this project. “ My group and I presented a social media campaign for Small Business Saturday to the board of directors for Downtown. With their approval, we have been given permission to follow through with that campaign, so we will be launching and running a promotional TikTok for downtown over the next few months,” said Junior Jillian Huellinghoff. 

Do these projects and programs make the students feel it is helping them determine their future within this career? McCulloch said “ CAPS definitely gives us a step ahead because of all the college credit we receive within the program. Yet in a more direct sense, it is helping us discover different aspects of the business field which gives us the opportunity to find the career fit we need.”