Skip to main content

June 17, 2017

Blue Valley students get real-world marketing, design experience at JCCC

Question: What do you get when you combine enterprising high school students with JCCC’s driver education program? Answer: A very cool looking car!

When Josh Smith, JCCC’s Continuing Education Program Director of transportation courses, heard about Blue Valley School District’s CAPS program, he realized there was a great opportunity for past and prospective driver education students to get involved in more than just learning to operate a car. Smith and two Blue Valley CAPS teachers devised a cross-strand collaboration with CAPS Global Business students and CAPS Digital Design and Photography students.

These eager high schoolers used their academic drive to research and create an advertising campaign and a colorful car wrap for JCCC’s plug-in electric Ford Fusion.

What is CAPS? It’s Blue Valley’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), which is an annex of the Blue Valley School District in Overland Park. CAPS pairs students with local professionals to create real-world learning situations. 

“This project was collaboration at its best – a win/win for both schools,” said Smith. “Plus, the students earn high school and JCCC credits.”

Petal powered

Using JCCC’s logo as inspiration, students designed three different car wraps. Once the mock-ups were complete, they submitted their designs to Smith. Kaylan Moore’s design was chosen by Smith and refined and modified by Cheyenne Butter.

“My students wanted to take a stab at this project because it is something they had never attempted,” said John Rodgers, Instructor for CAPS Digital Design and Photography.

Rodgers’ classes have worked with JCCC on three other projects, but this one gave his students a lot of satisfaction when they saw the finished product.

“I was excited to hear that there was an opportunity to design a car wrap that would actually be used,” said Moore. “We thought it would be the coolest thing to see our work out in daily life, and we wanted a design that would really pop.”

About halfway through the design process Moore was brought up to speed about all the legalities involved with designing a car wrap – rules about colors, graphic placement, changing the logo arrangement, size and fonts.

“It made it difficult, but it also made it more of a real-life challenge,” she said. “I was surprised about all the tiny mistakes that could turn into big problems.”

Unknowingly, Moore put the wrap directly over the headlights and windows. It wasn’t until someone pointed it out that she noticed.

“I found that a second look or a second opinion is very necessary,” she said. “I really love how it turned out!”

Both CAPS students who designed and modified the final wrap will be pursuing design careers. Moore will be attending the University of Kansas and Butter will be in JCCC’s Graphic Design program this fall.

“This project, along with a few others, got my heart set on graphic design and it has become a passion,” Moore said.

Research points to Mom

Students from Blue Valley CAPS Instructor Janet Graham’s Global Marketing class built a survey to collect data about students’ experiences while taking driver education classes.

“They were very ambitious and created a SurveyMonkey to ask other students about their own driver education experience,” she said.

Here’s what the research shows:

  • Moms make most of the decisions and the arrangements for enrolling teens
  • Moms and students learn about driving courses most through word-of-mouth
  • One eight-hour lecture and then drive time is preferred by students
  • Students prefer a program that offers flexible drive times

They also explored numerous ways to “get the word out” and promote JCCC’s driver training courses using advertising campaigns geared toward eighth- and ninth-graders and their parents.

“This project certainly gave these CAPS students a good grasp of how many details are involved in creating a new marketing strategy,” Graham said. “It was a great client project for the Global Marketing students to work on, because they are just a few years beyond getting their licenses and can remember the details that affected them.”

CAPS for the community

Johnson County businesses and nonprofit groups that are interested in working with CAPS students on specific projects should contact the Blue Valley school district. Other ways to get involved with CAPS include being a mentor.

CAPS classes are centered around business, bioscience, engineering and human services.

JCCC’s CoLab is centrally located and available for CAPS planning sessions at no charge. Check it out!

Drive it

To get behind the wheel of the coolest Ford Fusion in the county, register for driver training today.