DMU partners with Waukee Community School District in innovative education program

Waukee CAPS students learn surgery skills  in DMU's Surgery Lab
Waukee CAPS students learn surgery skills in DMU’s Surgery Lab.

Des Moines University has partnered with the Waukee Community School District to provide high school students the opportunity to explore health professions through the Waukee Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS). The first program of its kind in Iowa, Waukee CAPS takes an innovative approach to education by creating authentic work experiences for students.

Courses are industry-driven and developed with the collaboration of local business partners. DMU is a partner in the Human Services strand, one of five topic areas CAPS students can pursue. The strand is designed for students with a passion for health, wellness and education.

Des Moines University faculty and staff helped devise the curriculum for “Exploration of Health Sciences and Medicine,” a scientific, inquiry-based course within the Human Services strand that lets students play the role of physician. The course meets daily on the DMU campus and teaches students skills in doctor-patient relationships, medical diagnosis, patient care and other areas as they begin their journeys into health careers.

“The hands-on approach gives me real-life experience in health care, which is my passion. I’m gaining professional skills, connecting with professionals and working alongside my peers. One of the things I like best is that I’m giving back and contributing to the world right now while planning for my future,” said Emilie Hulse, a Waukee CAPS student enrolled in the course.

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