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This competency group may only be completed as an experience. Please select the “Experience” button above to see the description. 

During this course, you will learn career-related skills and earn a badge for this accomplishment. A badge is a digital certification of your career-related learning that you can share on social media and higher education platforms, or with colleges, potential employers, peers, and colleagues. Select this link to learn more about badges.

Major Topics and Concepts



Experiences allow students to demonstrate mastery of competencies through various real-world or hands-on learning opportunities, such as travel, service learning, independent study, internships or entrepreneurship. During an experience, students elect to meet all or some of the competencies in a particular competency group (ie. English 1, Economics, Biology, …), as an alternative to taking the course. Each experience is customized to the student’s opportunity. The student works with a VLACS instructor to determine deliverables that demonstrate mastery of the competencies and secures an outside expert to enrich the experience.

In Experiences students will:

  1. Meet weekly with their instructor.
  2. Secure an outside expert.
  3. Plan the experience prior to completing it. Credit is not awarded for experiences completed prior to enrollment and completion of the planning process.
  4. For many experiences, spend time at a business or other location.

Types of Experiences:

Independent Study

By signing up for an independent study, you will be able to direct your own learning, identifying what you want to learn and how you will demonstrate that you have mastered your learning objectives.


Internships allow you to gain professional experience, make connections, and become familiar with a career while working on site with mentors and professionals in a career of your interest.


While travel can be a great experience for learning life lessons, it is also an excellent way to acquire the knowledge and skills that allow you to demonstrate mastery in a variety of competencies. The world is a classroom and travel experiences will connect your real-world experiences to the learning that you seek.

Service Learning

In-Service Learning, you collaborate with members of your community to address issues to improve your community. You will connect your service with discipline-specific content so that learning can take place through problem solving and collaboration.


Starting your own business is a great way to learn. This type of experience allows you to engage in an entrepreneurial experience and receive credit for competencies you master through this experience.

Credits .5


  • Introduction to Creative Writing
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of creative writing by analyzing author’s craft including mood, theme, and voice, distinguishing among genres, understanding word choice, engaging in free writing, and brainstorming.
  • Characters, Theme, and Setting
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of creating characters, setting, and developing themes by evaluating one or more literary works and using strategies of points of view, reasoning, and language to create original literature.
  • Dialogue and Point of View
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of how to create dialogue and point of view by analyzing the purpose of dialogue, examining examples of dialogue and point of view, creating dialogue, and using point of view to develop characterization, advance plot and develop the theme in an original story or screenplay.
  • Poetry
    Students will demonstrate the ability to write poetry by analyzing how poetry presents a perspective on a subject, learning and using the key strategies of poetic structure, explaining and using literary devices, and understanding and using emphasis of detail.
  • Revision and Purpose
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of revision and purpose by explaining the difference between revision and critique, listing approaches to revision, explaining professional expectations for writing-related careers, demonstrating the purpose and process of drafting and editing.



Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.