BRANSON, Mo. — In the Branson school district, students are presented with an opportunity to explore three different career “strands” through the GOCAPS program: medicine and health, business and entrepreneurship, and engineering and manufacturing.
Juniors and seniors will spend half of their day in the GOCAPS program shadowing and learning from professionals from one of the three strands.
Students also work on real industry projects where they receive instructions from professionals and have opportunities to think critically as they work on challenges they are presented with.
Lynne Yaggy, chief nurse and vice president of clinical services for Cox Health in Branson, talked about the benefits of students working alongside professionals.
“It’s priceless. For example, we have physicians who go in their classrooms and do hands-on work,” Yaggy said. “We have an orthopedic surgeon and he will take the tools that he uses to do a knee replacement and they get to see that and feel it. They have a physician who’s a cardiologist who took a pig heart and let them dissect it. These are experiences you wouldn’t necessarily get in high school and particularly to that level from the expert.“
One of the benefits of participating in the program is that students can decide whether or not they want to pursue this career after high school.
Branson Superintendent Dr. Brad Swofford says some students could stay in Branson to work for their instructors.
“We have students who leave Branson High School and actually go work for some of our partners the year after,” Swofford said. “And/or stay connected and when they receive their training, they come back and work for them. It’s a dual benefit, so our partners receive a benefit as well. They also get to vet our best and brightest and pick those as they move forward through the program into maybe offering them a job as they get prepared, trained, certified, to do that particular job.”
Branson Public Schools has been participating in the GOCAPS program for four years.