Security Clearance Curriculum

All employment applications will ask information about one’s background and some employers are even checking credit report information. When applying for a security clearance, the application will be more in-depth and ask several questions that will be used to access one’s character, loyalty, trustworthiness and reliability. Knowing what the questions are and how the decisions they make can affect their eligibility may help teens want to make wiser decisions or at least consider what the repercussions of their decision might be.

You can help by making sure your students are aware of how the decisions they make can affect their life and their ability to obtain employment.

Security Clearance Cirriculum

Project SCOPE provides specific curricular materials for middle and high school students, as well as important general information that teachers can incorporate into their planning to help prepare students for their future. The components can be used individually or in sequence and include information, content and activities. This program has been designed for use by educators and school systems to accommodate individual needs identified by each teacher, each curriculum and each school system.

It is up to you as the professional to determine how, where and when you would like to incorporate this information into your teaching. Although we have made suggestions, each program can be injected at any time, in any class and with any teaching curriculum. As a professional, we know you will be able to identify the best way to reach your students to give them the information they need to maximize their future job potential.

General Information

Listed below are examples of specific questions asked on the Questionnaire for National Security Positions from areas in which teens tend to make the biggest mistakes. By incorporating these points into your curriculum it will help students to understand the impact their behavior may have on their ability to obtain future employment.

  1. Employment Activities – Have you received a written warning, been officially reprimanded, suspended or disciplined for misconduct in the workplace?
  2. Police Record – Have you been arrested by any police officer, sheriff, marshal, or any other type of law enforcement officer?
  3. Illegal Use of Drugs or Drug Activity – Have you illegally used any controlled substance? Use of a controlled substance includes injecting, snorting, inhaling, swallowing, experimenting with or otherwise consuming any controlled substance.
  4. Use of alcohol – Has your use of alcohol had a negative impact on your work performance, your professional or personal relationships, your finances, or resulted in intervention by law enforcement/public safety personnel?
  5. Financial Record – Have you defaulted on any type of loan? This includes loans for which you are a cosigner or guarantor. (Students need to also be aware that if a parent or relative uses their name to obtain credit, this could also have an adverse affect).
  6. Use of Information Technology Systems – Have you introduced, removed or used hardware, software or media in connection with any information technology system without authorization, when specifically prohibited by rules, procedures, guidelines or regulations?

Preparation for High School

Teachers, educators and guidance counselors are important in the process to reach children and often have as great or greater influence on them as their parents. In many instances, educators are armed with “insider” information that parents may not be privy to. Oftentimes you don’t realize how much of a positive impact you have on a student’s life.

Project SCOPE has included two lesson plans aimed at 7th grade students to help them as they prepare for high school. The lesson plans are linked together, providing resources and materials for students about security clearances, the intelligence community and good decision making. The plans also include suggestions for integrating these lessons into a variety of subjects.

Lesson plans:

Suggested 9th Grade Components

To help students begin to think about career possibilities and how their decisions now may affect available options later, Project SCOPE facilitates connections between classroom teachers and industry professionals. Guest speakers from industry help to personalize the security clearance process by discussing their own experiences with it.

The student questionnaire should be distributed and completed by students several days prior to the speaker’s presentation. The results should be compiled and provided to the speaker.

Speaker’s materials:

Speakers will provide a brief overview of the Intelligence Community and security clearances before going into their specific career path.

Suggested 11th Grade Components

An important part of earning a security clearance is making good decisions. Even if you aren’t going to try to get a security clearance, many professions still require a background check and potential employers often look at candidates’ social media profiles.

To help teachers incorporate these ideas into the classroom, Project SCOPE has developed a series of lessons for core subjects that meet MD state standards.


Lesson Plans Word Format

Lesson Plans PDF Format

Lesson Plan Resources


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