Ways to Learn

Interest and Career-Focused Learning

What interests do you have? What do you want to be when you grow up? At VLACS, we provide opportunities for students at all grade levels to explore their interests and possibilities for life after graduation.

Teenage girl painting on easel. Nikon D850

Connecting Learning to Interests and Life

At VLACS, learning is timely, relevant, and meaningfully connected to students’ goals and interests. Our offerings promote life skills and provide real-world, interest- and career-focused learning experiences while prioritizing what students learn rather than the time they spend in a classroom. 

VLACS students at all grade levels will enjoy exploring their interests and learning about related career options through connections with professionals, mentorship, role-playing job scenarios, real-life experiences, and more. As students explore their interests and potential careers, they will also earn and collect badges along the way.

What Will Your Future Look Like?

Whether you want to go to college, earn an industry certification, or enter the workforce after high school — or you have no idea yet what the future holds — VLACS is here to help you explore where your interests and talents might take you.

Outside Experts
Overview
  • Connect with professionals in a wide variety of career fields.

Grade Levels

  • K-5
  • Middle School
  • High School

Learning Models

  • Virtual or In-person
  • One-on-one meetings

Examples

  • Watch a live presentation about a career path.
  • Conduct an interview about a job.
  • Share a project you are working on for feedback.
  • Shadow someone performing on the job.

Meet Outside Experts

Through various career-oriented learning experiences, students can interact with knowledgeable professionals representing a broad array of expertise and careers. Every guest outside expert completes a thorough onboarding and approval process to ensure their suitability for working with students. These sessions help students understand how their education relates to exciting activities and careers.

Students may elect to work with an outside expert who has an established partnership with VLACS or they may choose their own, which could include a family friend or neighbor. Regardless of where a student may be in their career planning, outside experts are an invaluable resource to students as they explore interests or a career!

Enrichment Experiences
Overview
  • Explore an immersive topic for six weeks

Grade Levels

  • K-5
    Middle School

Learning Models

  • Virtual
  • Synchronous meetings

Examples

  • Outdoor survival skills
  • Food science
  • Recycled art
  • Yoga & mindfulness

Explore Shared Interests

VLACS’s synchronous six-week offerings explore interesting topics like yoga, coding, baking, NH wildlife, and outdoor survival. Like a virtual club, students meet once a week to discuss the focused interest of the offering and then complete activities independently throughout the following week. 

To conclude Enrichment experiences, professionals who work in a career related to the experience will be guest speakers and share their career journey and talk about their work.

Fun Fridays
Overview
  • Hear from members of the community about the work they do.

Grade Levels

  • K-5

Learning Models

  • Virtual
  • Synchronous webinars

Examples

  • Meet a firefighter
  • Meet a nurse
  • Meet a police officer
  • Meet a writer or artist

What Do You Do?

On the first of every month, VLACS Business Partners present to elementary students via Zoom. During these sessions, students participate in interactive activities such as a scavenger hunt or a trivia game that is directly linked to the profession they are exploring.

These webinars provide a fun way to captivate students by introducing them to inspiring adults who pursue fascinating and enjoyable endeavors as part of their work, personal interests, or hobbies.

Outside Experts
Overview
  • Connect with professionals in a wide variety of career fields.

Grade Levels

  • K-5
  • Middle School
  • High School

Learning Models

  • Virtual or In-person
  • One-on-one meetings

Examples

  • Watch a live presentation about a career path.
  • Conduct an interview about a job.
  • Share a project you are working on for feedback.
  • Shadow someone performing on the job.

Meet Outside Experts

Through various career-oriented learning experiences, students can interact with knowledgeable professionals representing a broad array of expertise and careers. Every guest outside expert completes a thorough onboarding and approval process to ensure their suitability for working with students. These sessions help students understand how their education relates to exciting activities and careers.

Students may elect to work with an outside expert who has an established partnership with VLACS, or they may choose their own, which could include a family friend or neighbor. Regardless of where a student may be in their career planning, outside experts are an invaluable resource to students as they explore interests or a career!

Enrichment Experiences
Overview
  • Explore an immersive topic for six weeks

Grade Levels

  • K-5
    Middle School

Learning Models

  • Virtual
  • Synchronous meetings

Examples

  • Outdoor survival skills
  • Food science
  • Recycled art
  • Yoga & mindfulness

Explore Shared Interests

VLACS’s synchronous six-week offerings explore interesting topics like yoga, coding, baking, NH wildlife, and outdoor survival. Like a virtual club, students meet once a week to discuss the focused interest of the offering and then complete activities independently throughout the following week. 

To conclude Enrichment experiences, professionals who work in a career related to the experience will be guest speakers and share their career journey and talk about their work.

Projects
Overview
  • Explore careers by completing hands-on projects.

Grade Levels

  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Adult Education

Learning Models

  • Project

Examples

  • Create a menu for a restaurant
  • Capture a photoshoot for a magazine
  • Design a floorplan for a new home

Create and Learn

Middle school, high school, and adult learners may learn about an academic subject through Projects. To show mastery of an academic competency, students assume the role of a professional in a trade or profession and solve a real-world problem. Students who choose Projects not only earn credit, they are also introduced to a variety of professions and trades.

Outside Experts
Overview
  • Connect with professionals in a wide variety of career fields.

Grade Levels

  • K-5
  • Middle School
  • High School

Learning Models

  • Virtual or In-person
  • One-on-one meetings

Examples

  • Watch a live presentation about a career path.
  • Conduct an interview about a job.
  • Share a project you are working on for feedback.
  • Shadow someone performing on the job.

Meet Outside Experts

Through various career-oriented learning experiences, students can interact with knowledgeable professionals representing a broad array of expertise and careers. Every guest outside expert completes a thorough onboarding and approval process to ensure their suitability for working with students. These sessions help students understand how their education relates to exciting activities and careers.

Students may elect to work with an outside expert who has an established partnership with VLACS, or they may choose their own, which could include a family friend or neighbor. Regardless of where a student may be in their career planning, outside experts are an invaluable resource to students as they explore interests or a career!

Interest-Based Courses
Overview
  • Take a course that focuses on a specific career.

Grade Levels

  • High School

Learning Models

  • Coursework

Examples

  • Restaurant Management
  • Careers in Criminal Justice
  • Foundations of Game Design

Courses That Work

Our program offers a wide range of courses based on various interests and careers. This gives students the opportunity to explore their interests or focus on a specific field and earn an industry certification or prepare for college.

Career-Focused Projects
Overview
  • Explore careers by completing hands-on projects.

Grade Levels

  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Adult Education

Learning Models

  • Project

Examples

  • Create a menu for a restaurant
  • Capture a photoshoot for a magazine
  • Design a floorplan for a new home

Create and Learn

Middle school, high school, and adult learners may learn about an academic subject through Projects. To show mastery of an academic competency, students assume the role of a professional in a trade or profession and solve a real-world problem. Students who choose Projects not only earn credit, they are also introduced to a variety of professions and trades.

Interest-Based Experiences
Overview
  • Build career skills through customized experiences.

Grade Levels

  • High School

Learning Models

  • Experience

Examples

  • English Experience: Apply composition skills to developing a business plan
  • Digital Photo Experience: Build a photography portfolio
  • Healthcare Experience: Get a summer internship at a hospital

Explore an Interest Through Customized Experiences

High school students may design their own experience to satisfy partial or full credit for a subject that can be taken as an experience. In doing so, students will meet academic competencies by completing deliverables that connect the theories/concepts of the course to real-world tasks.

Experiences are completely customized by students. We offer this option so that their experience is related to a personal interest or goal. This option is especially fitting for students who want to take the next steps toward their future career and want to produce work that is meaningful to what they want to pursue.

Career Connections
Overview
  • Learn about jobs from working professionals

Grade Levels

  • High School

Learning Models

  • Synchronous Webinars

Examples

  • Learn about recruiting practices from a human resources director
  • Learn about educational paths to a marketing career from an agency professional
  • Hear about the day-to-day job experiences of a public defense attorney

Meet Real-World Professionals

Every week, high school students enrolled in a VLACS course can attend Career Connections webinars presented by professionals representing many careers. 

For example, during a Career Connection session, students may watch a live demonstration of an engineer using a laser cutter or an artist using a pottery wheel. They may participate in a virtual workplace tour of an operating room or a factory.  

Presenters often share information about their career journey and offer insights regarding the training required to enter their field, career advancement opportunities available and even share information about opportunities for which students can apply. Students also have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss their interests and ideas.

Career Weeks
Overview
  • Learn about careers in a variety of industries

Grade Levels

  • High School
  • Adult Education

Learning Models

  • Synchronous Webinars

Examples

  • Careers in Education
  • Careers in Health Sciences
  • Careers in Construction

No Sharks Allowed

Similar to a virtual career fair, VLACS hosts Career Weeks that are designed to introduce students to a broad range of career options within a single industry. For instance, employees from a hospital may represent the marketing department, human resources, accounting, and health care professionals.

Explorations
Overview
  • Learn more about careers that align with your strengths and interests.

Grade Levels

  • High School

Learning Models

  • Independent Research
  • Synchronous Webinars

Examples

  • Forensic Science: Join a session hosted by a Crime Scene Investigator to watch a demonstration of laboratory analysis
  • Music: Collaborate with a Music Director to ask questions about what it takes to succeed in the industry
  • Interior Design: Join a session with a Designer to get tips on creating a portfolio

Focus on Your Interests

Explorations help students delve deeper into their interests or potential careers. They conduct research and engage in discussions with adults who have similar passions, gaining valuable insights and experiences.

Job Shadows
Overview
  • Experience a day in the life of a career professional

Grade Levels

  • High School

Learning Models

  • In-person or Virtual
  • One-on-one Connections

Examples

  • Spend a day with the manager of a retail store
  • Watch a graphic designer at work via Zoom

Watch and Learn

With job shadows, high school students visit a workplace or connect virtually with a professional to observe their day-to-day job tasks.

Microinternships
Overview
  • Earn academic credit for work experience

Grade Levels

  • High School

Learning Models

  • Hands-on Experience

Examples

  • Complete a one-month internship at a local newspaper
  • Attend a computer programming boot camp

On-the-Job Training

Micro-internships allow high school students to earn credit by completing a project in partnership with a business, non-profit organization, artist, etc. Micro-internships provide students with the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge about topics of interest or to get a close-up look at a career.

Career-Focused Projects
Overview
  • Explore careers by completing hands-on projects.

Grade Levels

  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Adult Education

Learning Models

  • Project

Examples

  • Create a menu for a restaurant
  • Capture a photoshoot for a magazine
  • Design a floorplan for a new home

Create and Learn

Middle school, high school, and adult learners may learn about an academic subject through Projects. To show mastery of an academic competency, students assume the role of a professional in a trade or profession and solve a real-world problem. Students who choose Projects not only earn credit, they are also introduced to a variety of professions and trades.

Career Weeks
Overview
  • Learn about careers in a variety of industries

Grade Levels

  • High School
  • Adult Education

Learning Models

  • Synchronous Webinars

Examples

  • Careers in Education
  • Careers in Health Sciences
  • Careers in Construction

No Sharks Allowed

Similar to a virtual career fair, VLACS hosts Career Weeks that are designed to introduce students to a broad range of career options within a single industry. For instance, employees from a hospital may represent the marketing department, human resources, accounting, and health care professionals.

Real people. Real stories.

[My teacher] was so nice. She was always super interested in what I was doing. That’s why I love VLACS so much. I never feel like I’m wasting my time with my VLACS work. Everything is super helpful in my learning.

Elizabeth Kourbatski
Part-Time High School Student

Since I have pulled my son out of public school, he is 100% back to himself. Not only do I know what he is learning day by day, but we get to incorporate it into everyday life! It is so cool seeing him use what he has learned firsthand.

Amanda Quince
Elementary Parent

VLACS does virtual school the right way… Overall, the program communication is awesome, and it is really beneficial for us as parents to know what’s going on.

Brian Nagel
High School Parent

I felt like from the time the welcome call started, he wasn’t just a student, he was part of their family.

Brittany Young
Full-Time Elementary Parent

VLACS has given our family the freedom to travel around the world, learn and explore beyond the limitations of a traditional classroom and strengthen our family unit.

Karine Bialy
Elementary Parent

My daughter’s performance has improved dramatically! The individual attention she receives from her teachers has been great. I’m so pleased with our decision for her to go full-time at VLACS.

Linda Kenney
High School Parent