Have you ever been asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” You probably have, and responded with something like, “I want to be a doctor... or a teacher... or a musician!” 

We all aspire to grow up and pursue a career that we are passionate about, yet how can we accomplish this? How do we discover the journey that will lead us to our dream job? The answer - career awareness

Within the next decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment is projected to grow by 8.4 million jobs, with an increasing presence of jobs in health care, social assistance, private educational services, and construction. As the employment rate continues to grow, the presence and demand for young adult workers is becoming more certain in the workforce. 

VLACS recognizes that middle and high school students require adequate resources that enable them to become college and  career ready, so we established a badging system to make it possible for all students to begin the career exploration process. 

Our goal is to provide work-based learning opportunities that allow students to gain hands-on experience working in their desired career path. In turn, this experience prepares students to earn a degree, receive an industry-accredited certification, or enter into the workforce after high school.

How Does It Work? 

Badges recognize students’ skills in areas that have career-related designations such as nursing, entrepreneurship, robotics, and many more! With badges, students can display the knowledge and experience they have acquired that translates to a target career path demanding their qualifications. 

Badges are designed to provide students with a direct application to vocational training that will prepare them for future workplace success. They serve as an extension to the knowledge students gain throughout their time at VLACS so that they can increase job opportunities, stand out to employers, pass certification testing, and prepare for college courses. Whether a student's goal is to earn a degree in a field of study or receive an occupational certificate, our badging program ensures that students are equipped with the skills and resources to succeed. 

To earn and collect badges, students must follow a career-focused curriculum. This can be achieved by taking a single VLACS course, or through job-related experiences working with industry professionals through job shadowing, participating in internships, conducting interviews, or any other workplace-related activity. These experiences allow students to collaborate with industry professionals through place-based learning so that they can better distinguish a career path that is the right fit for them.  

Students have 24/7 access to their badges that detail their accomplishments, which can be used as a resume builder or shared on social media platforms. You decide where your achievements will take you! 

Applying the Badging System 

A student who is interested in healthcare can complete competencies in the health science field to earn a badge in a desired subject, such as dentistry! With this badge, the student can explore a career as a dental assistant by collecting more badges in the dental field through the completion of VLACS courses and real-world experiences. After earning a set of badges focused on dentistry, the student is prepared to take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification to become an official dental assistant! 

Let your talents shine and pursue a career that you are passionate about! Begin the journey towards your dream job by collecting badges while gaining experience and earning credits! 

Attend an 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.