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Estimated Completion Time

1 segment / 18 weeks


Responsible citizenship means more than just paying taxes. It means understanding the principles and practices of government. It also means defining your beliefs as to what good government is. In this course, you will take on the role of a Washington D.C. intern and spend time working throughout the nation’s capital with all three branches of the government- and beyond. As you progress through the internship you will gain a greater understanding on the history of the country’s beginnings, and knowledge of how government functions at the local, state and national levels. This is a virtual experience and will not involve going to Washington, D.C., or actually interning.

The purpose of this course is to help you become an informed and active citizen. In part, the Constitution asserts that, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.” Make yours an informed consent.

Major Topics and Concepts

Segment 1:

  • Origins of Modern Government and Types of Government
  • Enlightenment Influences
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Articles of Confederation
  • The Constitution
  • Branches of Government, Checks and Balances and Federalism
  • Judicial Branch, the Court System, and the Supreme Court
  • The Amendments and the Bill of Rights
  • Jury Duty
  • Civil Rights, Civil Liberties and the Patriot Act
  • The Legislative Branch, Powers of Congress and Congressional Elections
  • Role of Political Parties and Interest Groups
  • How a Bill Becomes a Law
  • The Executive Branch, Presidential Elections and the Cabinet
  • The Media and Politics
  • Foreign, Domestic and Economic Policy
  • Modern Day Presidents and Presidential Impeachment
  • State Governments and State Constitutions
  • Citizenship and the Rights and Responsibilities of United States Citizens
  • Voting Rights and Responsibilities
  • Function and Role of Local Governments


Each competency will be addressed through a project that is based on a real-life career task. Here are the careers you will explore: Community Service Manager, Playwright, Communications Specialist, and Social Science Research Assistant,.



Estimated Completion Time

Approximately 3-4 Weeks per project


Please review the competency statements on the right to learn the major topics and concepts covered in this offering.




Overview: Projects allow students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts and skills by completing a job-related task. The assignment might be to create a mural, a package design, a speech, a film review, or a movie set – you name it! These creative projects are about applying your learning acquired through in-depth research to real-world career tasks.



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

Meets Government/Civics graduation requirement. Only the Experience option earns a badge.


  • Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship by describing the impact of active citizenship in a representative government, explaining natural and legal rights of citizens, and explaining the responsibilities of citizenship.
  • Foundations of the United States and New Hampshire Government
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the foundations of the United States and New Hampshire government by describing political philosophies of the founding documents, explaining the impact of perspectives on government and individual rights, and comparing the United States and the New Hampshire Constitution.
  • Legislative and Executive Branches of the United States and New Hampshire Government
    Students will demonstrate an understanding the legislative and executive branches of the United States and New Hampshire government by explaining the organization and function of the legislative branches of the United States and New Hampshire, explaining the organization and function of the executive branches of the United States and New Hampshire, and describing the methods for citizens to impact public policy.
  • Judicial Branches of the United States and New Hampshire Government
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the organization and function of the judicial branches of the United States and New Hampshire government by explaining the organization and function of the United States and New Hampshire judicial branches and explaining the impact of the judicial branch on civil rights and universal human rights.




Course: To complete the honors version of this offering, you must discuss this with your instructor during your welcome call.

Project/Experience: Honors is awarded by earning "Exceeds" on all rubric assessments.

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.