Our career offerings empower students to explore all of the job opportunities available to them. Students begin to recognize careers that align with their interests and strengths, and even discover careers they did not even know existed.
Career offerings allow students to connect their classroom learning to an eventual career, making the material relevant, timely, and applicable. The career components in our courses take an in-depth approach to the way that a student’s coursework also has relevance to the work they will do in the future. For example, our Astronomy course explores the study of astronomy, while touching on the careers that exist in the field and the skills needed to pursue those careers.
Career offerings allow students to not only explore new career options, but also identify the best way to and time to begin that career. Some students may be interested in a job that they can obtain through a two or four-year degree program after VLACS. Other students may decide that to secure their chosen career, it would be better to earn an industry-recognized certification. Our career offerings help students determine which route is best following graduation.
Show what you’ve learned by building toward your career!
At VLACS, students interested in pursuing coursework tailored to a specific career can collect badges along the way, indicating a student’s accomplishments in a specific area. A collection of aligned badges forms a pathway, such as the one illustrated below. This is a student’s opportunity to demonstrate to a college, or even employers, that they not only mastered a certain subject matter, but related subject matter as well pertaining to a given career option. Badges and pathways can be shared, such as on a LinkedIn profile or college application, and gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge beyond a static transcript.
In the pathway above, a student interested in photography, graphic design, or a similar field may be interested in completing our Digital Photography pathway. At VLACS, that means more than just taking a course in a given subject. Students can complement their courses with similar, more advanced courses later on, as well as with career exploration opportunities like job shadows and micro-internships. The collection of these credits and experiences form the completion of a pathway, demonstrating all that a student did to master digital photography.
Here are someof the 20+ career pathways that are available to our students
Badges symbolize a student’s accomplishments. At VLACS, a badge is a digital pin that provides an in-depth description of a student’s career-related accomplishments. Think of it as a modern-day transcript. But while transcripts only tell part of the story, badges illustrate everything a student did to earn it, such as hands-on experiences or industry-specific skills. Students can display their badges on social media, via email, on their resumés, and in their college application materials. To earn a badge, students conduct career-specific research and complete career-focused activities that attribute to their career exploration. Badges are issued any time a student completes a career course, job shadow, or micro-internship. Students can collect badges towards a specific career pathway in preparation for a milestone such as obtaining an industry-recognized certification.
Badges are awarded for these learning options:
Through Career Connections, our live video conferences hosted by industry professionals, students form relationships with individuals who work in careers they are interested in. Students can ask questions directly to those in industries they may choose for themselves. They learn what specific careers entail, what to expect in certain careers, and even tour a workplace to see the actual working environment. These sessions are part of the VLACS courses, so students earn credit for attending. The Career Exploration course allows for students to attend several. The sessions are also pre-recorded, so students have constant access to the entire library.
Job shadows allow students to visualize what a day in the life of a professional in their chosen field is like. This direct observation of a professional in action exposes students to the workplace setting without having to perform the actual function of the job. This is valuable for those careers that require skills or expertise students may not yet have. Students can earn credit for these shadowing opportunities and can also gain important networking contacts for future work options down the line.
Micro-Internships at VLACS are short-term work experiences that let a student work on a project or task that a professional in their chosen career would perform. This “learn-by-doing” opportunity helps students acquire valuable new skills and gain new work experiences they can add to their resumé. These low-risk opportunities give students the chance to get a glimpse into a career without a long-term commitment to it. Alternatively, micro-internships could also become long-term internships, should the student really take to it. Students can earn credit for these opportunities and can also gain important networking contacts for future work options.
Design Your Own Experience
While the options at VLACS may seem limitless, our students never stop surprising. Students have the opportunity to design an activity of their own and submit the idea for credit approval. We encourage students to be creative, resourceful, and original when imagining experiences and content that might be relevant for a desired career path.
Prepared to Take on the World
Students leave VLACS feeling prepared to take on the world. By exploring the fields they may pursue careers in through thousands of available options, they can develop a plan to achieve their career goals. Students can explore potential areas of interest throughout middle and high school, or they can pursue a career path right away if their interests are already solidified. They graduate with resumé experience and qualifications to pursue entry-level work. Each career offering connects students to networking opportunities, allowing students to expand their network of mentors. They meet professionals, exchange contacts, and build relationships with individuals who can connect them to future work. VLACS provides opportunities for all to explore, discover, and prepare for life after high school – whether that means finding a major for college, pursuing a trade, or starting a business!
The VLACS Badging Experience
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.