Learn more about Calvin Action Projects (CAP):

What is CAP?

Calvin Action Projects (CAP) are a critical component of the Calvin College business degree. CAP epitomizes Calvin's commitment to experiential learning, or learning through hands on, real-life experiences, by allowing students to act as consultants for actual businesses on real business problems.

Students are required to take several project-based courses throughout their time at Calvin, ensuring they are exceptionally equipped for service within the business sector following graduation.

Projects are semester-long and categories include:

  • Marketing
  • Strategy
  • Operations
  • Management/Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Innovation

How does CAP work?

The CCIB is responsible for engaging the broader business community and encouraging companies and organizations to participate in CAP projects. Companies must be experiencing a real challenge or opportunity that has no catalystexisting or obvious solution in order to be considered.

Challenges or opportunities can be based in accounting, finance, marketing, operations, human resources, and the like.

Once companies are identified, students are paired with a business and work, over the course of a semester, to frame the challenge or opportunity and identify a possible solution. Professionally and academically-experienced faculty advisors guide students through this process, ensuring students receive better results and a more realistic project experience.

CAP project roles

Project Teams

CAP teams consist of 4-6 undergraduate business students with little or no professional experience. They are from a variety of disciplines and concentrations, and work hard throughout the semester to provide solid recommendations and solutions to business opportunities and/or challenges defined by the sponsoring company/organization.

Faculty Advisors

The student-led CAP teams are guided by faculty members with numerous years of professional and academic experience.

Project Participants

Project participants are businesses, organizations, and non-profit institutions within the business community that are eager to help mold and shape future business leaders.

Experiential learning

Experiential learning is hands-on, real-life learning. It blends theory and practice in a cycle that is dependent upon continuous reflection by students, with their conclusions being adjusted as new information and learning is discovered. Through experiential learning experiences, students develop the ability to:

  • Think independently
  • Function without sufficient data
  • Change thinking or processes mid-course
  • Negotiate
  • Reflect, inquire, and ask questions

Making CAP succeed

What makes a good CAP proposal?
  • It addresses a real-life business challenge or opportunity that does not have an obvious solution
  • It has strong support from management-level employees
  • It requires a multi-disciplinary approach
  • It can be successfully addressed in a semester
  • It has a set of actionable recommendations
What are the business' responsibilities?
  • Provide a dedicated liaison to project students
  • Provide information, data, and support to project students
  • Provide expense reimbursement, up to $200, for agreed upon project expenses
  • Provide the project team with onsite orientation, interviews, meetings, or data gathering, as needed