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Sprint – Human Resources Mailstop: KSOPHL0302-3B502 6500 Sprint Parkway Overland Park, KS 66251 913-762-6432 September 28, 2010 TCU Admissions Office 2800 South University Drive Ft. Worth, TX 76129 Dear Admissions Office: I’m writing to you as an alumna of TCU, class of 1986. I was a Chancellor’s Scholarship winner, Senior Scholar in Psychology, and Phi Beta Kappa. I’m writing to share with you my impressions of the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) in the Blue Valley School District. The program attracts students who are motivated to learn and apply their knowledge. They are able to study a field in depth, much beyond what is available in their home schools. Students hear presentations from experts in their field, take tours of laboratories, do lab work, and work with mentors. I have taken a tour of their new facility; the labs, technology, and workspaces are state-of-the-art. Just as importantly, students learn to manage their time, work as team members, complete real-life projects for companies, and present proposals and results to the companies. Students also learn quickly if they are not interested in the field they are studying, so you can be assured that a student entering college will be committed to their major. As a Sprint employee, I’m exploring ways we can work with students in the Technology Solutions group for a web design project, and I have signed up to be a mentor in the areas of leadership and organizational behavior. I’ve heard great things about student quality from colleagues who have worked with the students as mentors or presenters. I highly recommend this program and its students. I would have participated in this if it were available when I was in high school. Sincerely, Deb Dehn Mitchell, PhD Talent Assessment Manager




November 22, 2010

To Whom It May Concern, Kansas State University-Olathe Innovation Campus recognizes the need for high school students to learn about and participate in professional development activities prior to entering college. The Blue Valley CAPS program provides a unique experience for motivated students to work on real-life projects in a wide variety of academic disciplines. 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. Students who have participated in the Blue Valley CAPS program demonstrate the maturity and desire to learn that colleges wish to see in applicants. The signature aspect of the program is that it provides a learning environment where the mentors and the mentees each bring value to the relationship. We strongly support the Blue Valley CAPS programs and will act as an advocate for the programs in undergraduate admissions criteria at Kansas State University. Regards,

n B. Pascarella, PhD Associate Dean of Academic and Research Programs

18001 W. 106TH ST, SUITE 130 OLATHE, KS 66061

Dan Richardson, DVM Dipi. ACVS CEO






BLACK&VEATCH Building a world of difference

November11, 2010

To Whom It May Concern: I am a parent, I am an elected school board member, I am engineer, but most of all I am a CAPS advocate! The Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) in the Blue Valley School District began in 2009 and I am proud to say that one of the engineering strands was actually taught in our Overland Park, KS office and used professional engineers as mentors. I wish I had this kind of opportunity when I was in high school! Over the course of the next few paragraphs I will highlight why your university would benefit from having a Blue Valley School District CAPS graduate. Retention Retaining engineering students is an important area of focus for most universities. CAPS, based on Project Lead The Way, is designed to give a high school student a pre-college experience in a field of study of their choosing. They are permitted to explore the field of engineering in several disciplines to decide if this is how they want to spend the next four years. I am confident that when they enroll in Engineering at your university they will complete the work and become a graduate. —

Fewer Department Changes Because the students are exposed to several different kinds of engineering before they get to your university, they are more inclined to stay in one department. CAPS projects require the students to understand principles in civil, mechanical, electrical, architectural, computer, digital and even chemical engineering to design a building, a house, and even a museum. —

Failure Is An Option The CAPS engineering program teaches students what to look for and how to solve problems. Students are challenged to see if their teacher’s presentations make sense and to think for themselves. CAPS recognizes that getting the right answer is only half the goal. There will plenty of time to refine their skills in college to get the right answers. To explore and fail is simply motivation to discover and succeed. —

Encouraged For The Future I see a building full of students that have chosen to study in their field. I see collaboration among engineering students and with global business students, media students, teaching students, and even healthcare students to find innovative solutions. I am so very excited about the future of —

engineering when I see how dynamic and interested they are in our profession. These young men and women will not fail you! As I said, I wear many hats: school board member, parent, engineer and CAPS supporter. As the school board member, I realize that the high-school students we graduate are our “products,” and that as a parent, I entrust them to you to mentor. As the CAPS enthusiast, I know we do our best to prepare them for college and the world ahead. Truly, I’m so proud of the students in the CAPS Engineering program that I hope when they are finished with college, they will want to come and work for Black & Veatch so we can help us complete our mission of Building a World of Difference. Thank you for helping make this happen. Very truly yours, BLACK & VEATCH

Clinton 0. Robinson Associate Vice President, B&V Water cc:

Shirley Gaufin, Chief Human Resources Officer, Black & Veatch Kristin Gibbar, Global Staffing Manager, Black & Veatch BLACK & VEATCH CORPORATION. 11401 Lamar Avenue Overland Park, KS 66211 913-458-2000. Fax 91 3-458-2934

November 2, 2010

To whom it may concern,

As a mentor and speaker for the Blue Valley CAPS Global Business Strand and parent of a CAPS graduate and current CAPS student, I have a unique perspective on this amazing program. First, it provides students with unparalleled access and insight from experts and companies in each student’s chosen field of study. This interaction is greater than any I have seen for High School, College and even Graduate Students. These students get hands on experience in real world environments. This experience allows students to make informed decisions on what they want to study in college and pursue as careers beyond college. The typical CAPS student is more mature, self confident, responsible and more focused that most students entering college. This is because they are treated like professionals from day one and are expected to act like professionals. These students work on projects for major corporations. They present proposals to be evaluated by industry leaders. They are allowed to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes in a safe and supportive environment. Both of my sons will tell you that the Blue Valley CAPS Program is by far the best and most important thing they have participated in through their High School years. This program will shape their college and future career aspirations more than anything else they have experienced. I would highly recommend this program to students, business partners and colleges. This is the future of education.


Daniel J. Capra Global Sales Executive Hewlett Packard

Garmin’s Endorsement Statement for CAPS: The Technology Solutions for the Digital Age pathway and Digital Electronics course are an excellent opportunity for high school students to get a jump start on their education leading to a technical degree. The curriculum provides experiences that most students would not have until reaching college, and the projects they work on will give them a head start on determining what career path may be best for them in the future. Many of the skills that the students are introduced to are the same type of skills that Garmin engineers utilize. Garmin has worked with Blue Valley CAPS to provide industry insight into current technologies, and to promote the teaching of skills that are important in today’s technological world.

Ronald E. Gier Vice President, Employee Experience Sprint 6500 Sprint Parkway Mailstop: KSOPHL0312 Overland Park, KS 66251 Office: 913-762-6800 November 29, 2010 To whom it may concern: The educational opportunity provided by the Blue Valley CAPS program provides a unique partnership of academic learning and business application. It is an experience that elevates the student’s accountability for their work while stimulating their interest in a career field. I expect that students who participate in this program have a better understanding of their career interest and a strong awareness of the relationship between their academic experience and its on-the-job application. In talking to CAPS students, a consistent theme is that the practical application makes the academic experience more real and relevant. As a former high school student and current parent, I am familiar with the question high school students ask about their school work “When would this ever be important to me?” CAPS students start making the connection between academics and career in high school. I have had the pleasure of representing Sprint to develop our corporate participation in the CAPS program. Through the participation of Sprint and other local businesses, CAPS students experience work projects, environments and assignments reflective of their career choices. These students not only experience the career options available but they build confidence from having success in one or more of those career opportunities. Consistently the students rise to the challenge and produce results that exceed the expectations of the businesses. That success reinforces the student’s interest and equips them with skills they need to be successful when entering into their field of study. Between the chance to connect their academic work to career choices and the confidence that comes from successful achievement, I expect CAPS students to have a significant advantage over other incoming college freshman. Sincerely,

Ronald E. Gier

Michael L. Nelson 7400 College Blvd Suite 400 Overland Park, KS 66210 Direct: 913-323-5867

December 8, 2010

Center for Advanced Professional Studies Blue Valley School District 7501 W. 149 Terrace Overland Park, KS 662233 To Whom It May Concern: As a senior engineering manager at Cisco Systems, Inc., and as an activist for mentoring our future leaders, I cannot tell you how excited I am to be a business partner, mentor, and advisor in the Blue Valley School Districts Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) program. CAPS is a progressive and innovative program that focuses classroom instruction with real-world professional mentors; tying classroom studies with business applications. This allows the students to experience and explore, firsthand, areas of interest before they commit to a college plan and a professional journey. It is my experience and observation that the students in the CAPS program are more confident, ask more questions, engages the professionals more frequently, and are more focused. I believe these attributes are the direct result of the CAPS program, its mission, value, and encouragement. Additionally, because CAPS connects local businesses, professions, and professionals with the learning philosophy of CAPS the students and program is able to gain insight into the workforce of the future; which allow them to tailor the education experience more suited for students in the 21st century. In closing, I applaud and endorse the Blue Valley School District and the CAPS program for being innovative in how they prepare our future business leaders and for collaborating with business leaders to enhance the experience. I would encourage any employer, school district, or higher education educators to visit CAPS and understand what they have built, and the environment they have created. Sincerely,

Michael L. Nelson Manager, Systems Engineering Cisco Systems, Inc.

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Validation letters from industry partners