Erie Chamber Blog
Thursday July 19,  2018
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Bill Scholz, Business Outreach Specialist

Searching for the right post-secondary school is overwhelming to students and parents. For students, the process of applying along with the very confusing financial aid completion seems endless. Finding funds to attend a post-secondary school can be complex and confusing as students navigate clunky Federal applications systems such as FAFSA, scholarships, and state grant applications. In many schools, school counselors simply do not have enough resources to ensure that every student finds a clear pathway to success.

Simply put, elementary and secondary schools are not adequately offering college and career readiness opportunities. Among recent graduates, less than 1 in 10 have taken a foundational set of college and career readiness courses. Many school counselors echo that our schools are chronically under-resourced when it comes to post-secondary success.

In the United States, there are 50.7 Million students in grade K-12. There are 98,000 public schools and 34,000 private schools. Additionally, there are 5,000 agencies that serve high - risk youth. Few of these organizations take advantage of online learning management systems (LMS) to deliver valuable post-secondary information to ensure student success and monitor their progress. Current offerings are either too expensive or uninspiring.

Enter the Counselors Advantage Program for Success or CAPS

CAPS is an online learning platform that allows the student, parent, and school counselor to share information and monitor career progression. CAPS is a fun and easy to use platform that functions much like the same social networks that students are already comfortable using.

The platform is the first learning management system of its kind. It is cost-effective and allows for students and parents to complete video modules, worksheets, and assessments together. Progress is reported back to the school counselor who can answer questions and provide customized assistance. 

School Counselors can report on student progress to understand the pulse of their communities’ career-readiness. Questions might include:

  • Which students haven’t completed a post-secondary application?
  • Which students haven’t completed their FAFSA application?
  • What students need help in completing personal statements for their college or career school application?
  • Which students need help with application fee assistance?

This data provides substantial value - add for school districts.

With CAPS, districts now have easy access to a number of different online resources including timelines for post-secondary transitions, video and online content that teach career-readiness, and a safe and secure record of student progress that is shared among school administration.

CAPS also helps students obtain financial aid for post-secondary education. Students who have used early versions of the CAPS platform report securing more than 27 million USD of additional financial aid funding.  Every student received a customized Individual Career Plan.

A Founder on a Mission

CAPS is founded by visionary college and career readiness expert Cass Wright. Cass Wright is the former Vice President of College and Career Readiness at the Uncommon Individual Foundation and before that was a Middle and High School Assistant Principal, as well as the Dean of Students in the Wayne Township School Corporation located in Wayne Township, Indianapolis. Cass started CAPS long before school districts were using online learning management systems to deliver value-add educational content. 

CAPS mission includes:

-Leveling the playing field for all students by providing access to one platform for complete and current information regarding college and career readiness.

-Helping connect students to reach optimal academic achievement towards their college / post-secondary career goals with total funding in hand.

Currently, CAPS is being utilized by 25,000 Rural, Urban and Suburban school districts throughout the nation. The firm is in the process of scaling up operations across the United States as more school districts see the value in online career-readiness platforms.

The CAPS Opportunity

CAPS is founded in Erie, PA, and has received assistance from many local entrepreneurial support agencies. CAPS recently received early - stage funding from Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP). BFTP funding will help improve the design and capacity of CAPS as it rolls-out across other school districts across the United States.

How can the Erie business community help?

The current executive team is looking for connections to school district, agencies, the business communities and decision makers. You can view and request a full demo of the company at

  • education
  • career readiness
  • student assistance

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