The WashU School of Continuing & Professional Studies (CAPS) will meet educational needs and provide career pathways for St. Louis learners who are academically capable but have historically not had access to a Washington University education.


  • Serve modern learners from any socioeconomic background at any life stage through degrees, custom training, and upskilling
  • Helping modern learners overcome the social, cultural, and financial constraints that have kept higher education out of reach
  • Support success by recognizing the unique experiences and needs of modern learners in our educational environment
  • Align with key internal and external stakeholders to support upward mobility and career advancement to ensure certificates and degrees align with regional job market need


  • Student Focused: Students’ success is at the center of our planning and decision making
  • Equitable and Inclusive: Equitable treatment in interactions with students, each other, and the community
  • Committed to Excellence: Expecting the highest professional standards in all that we do
  • Partnership Oriented: Collaboration, open communication and a culture of trust are essential to a healthy and successful organization
  • Innovative: Through collaboration and continuous improvement and operational excellence

Strategic Priorities

  • School Readiness to Support the Success of the Modern Learner
  • Career Advancement through Degrees and Certificates
  • In St. Louis with St. Louis


  • Re-imagine support for the modern learner
  • Strengthen faculty support and engagement in student success.
  • Remove barriers to make Washington University and higher education more accessible and sustainable for those who have been historically excluded.
  • Foster a culture of belonging within the wider Washington University community that advances more equitable treatment of modern learners.
  • Identify and fill instructional and staffing positions utilizing the expertise of regional professionals.
  • Create a structure that is agile in meeting emerging educational needs.
  • Align with WashU efforts to coordinate the delivery of new programs.
  • Pursue programmatic opportunities that connect the School of Continuing & Professional Studies students with the civic fabric of the St. Louis region.
  • Through the Prison Education Project (PEP), combine a School of Continuing & Professional Studies degree program with dedicated reentry supports that prepare returning citizens to give back to the St. Louis community through civic engagement, community service and entrepreneurship.
  • Investigate opportunities for exposing English as a Second Language (ESL) learners to the School of Continuing & Professional Studies programming.
  • Increase the age and ethnic diversity of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) students through programming and partnerships.