High school students participated in a variety of collaborative field experiences in several professions.

Fall 2018

  • Andrew Gioffredi – zoology with the Blank Park Zoo
  • Emily Kasal – interior design with the West Des Moines Library and Emily Lee Design
  • Ahmed Nasereddin – physical therapy with Select Medical
  • Aryan Prajapati –  website design with West Des Moines Community Schools
  • Alyssa Schwarz – marketing with the city of West Des Moines
  • Jacob Toth – social media marketing  with the city of West Des Moines
  • Marianna Wharff – physical therapy with Select Medical


  • Area of Interest: Athletic Training/Physical Therapy
  • Business Partner: West Des Moines Community Schools high school athletic trainers with Select Medical
  • Project Overview: Student would work with individuals who work in physical therapy/athletic training. The student would learn the basic protocol for assessing an injury and how to treat strains and/or other minor injuries.

For my Collaborative Field Experience class I have been helping the athletic trainers at our school primarily with the football team. At the beginning of the year I mainly just shadowed the trainers, watching them tape wrists, ankles, and cuts/scratches as well as observe any examinations or stretches they performed on the athletes. Eventually, I began practicing taping on the trainers and I now help them tape the athletes wrists and ankles for both practices and games. In addition to taping, I also help them stretch, roll out tight muscles, and make ice bags or baths. Throughout the class so far I have learned many new things about the human body on top of all the taping and stretching I have learned.

Marianna Wharff, Valley junior

  • Area of Interest: Marketing
  • Business Partner: City of West Des Moines
  • Project Overview: Student would work with a mentor to learn how to reach a specific audience when working on a marketing project. This included planning, executing, and reviewing the data collected. The student also would learn how to distinguish how to reach certain demographics to receive the highest possible engagement.

I worked with the City of West Des Moines on an aspect of their 20-year-plan. The 20-year plan is about improving the city to better involve and include its citizens and people who contribute to the city of West Des Moines. They are looking for feedback about West Des Moines and what changes people might like to see happen in the future. My role involved finding out what the future citizens would like to see change or improve around their city. I was able to work with any age group(s). I decided to work with seniors and created a lesson plan, making it detailed and easy to follow so the teachers could teach it.  I input the data into an interesting and engaging presentation. I had approximately 120 hours to work on this project.

Alyssa Schwarz, Valley junior

  • Area of Interest: Website Design/Programming
  • Business Partner: West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) School/Community Relations Department
  • Project Overview: Student would work with a mentor to develop sitemap/wireframes for Collaborative  Field Experience course content. The student would learn best practices and important elements of website design. The project included guidance on User Experience (UX).

Before CFE I had a couple friends from Waukee that took APEX and they told be stories about going off-campus for a school class and working with businesses and gaining real life experience. Since then I yearned for a class similar to APEX offered by Valley and was delighted when I heard Valley was offering CFE as an elective my senior year. Even though it was the first year the class was being offered it sounded like a great opportunity to get some insight into the real world, and I excited to be one of its first students.

I already had an interest in programming and web design before CFE as I had take many of the programming classes offered by Valley, but even with the background knowledge the task of designing the website for the class seemed daunting. I was never really person with a lot of artistic talent and felt as if the website I would design might be a little dull, but with the guidance of my mentor that the phenomenal tools the class provided me the task hasn’t been too bad. I have already learned so much during my adventure with CFE, from small things like better formatting so pages can be replicated better, to more important things like making the page more visually appealing.

Besides all the things I have learned from CFE, I have also enjoyed the environment we have created, we are treated like adults and are allowed to express our own creativity. Everyone in the class is doing something they are interested in, whether that be designing otter exhibits, or working with athletes that are injured. Overall CFE has been an amazing experience so far, and I look forward for what’s to come.
Aryan Prajapati, Valley senior