Post-Secondary Options: Decision Making Scenario

Back again with another interactive decision making scenario! This one focuses on making future decisions post graduation. In the Post-Secondary Options: Decision Making Scenario students are introduced to Chris who is trying to decide which direction to go in order to pursue a career of interest. Like the other scenarios I’ve shared, students work together as a group to help Chris make an informed decision!


  • Prior to this activity, students have explored post-secondary options which include 4 year college, 2 year college, vocational/trade schools, military and apprenticeships. If you don’t teach about these, you may want to review them so students have a base knowledge of what they are all about.
  • If you want students to learn more about the post-secondary options available, you may want to have them research and share via the Iron Chef Jigsaw Style Challenge shared by FCS teacher, Shannon Stevens (see attachments below).
  • I orally introduce Chris to my students as I read about background information. Students are then given a copy and answer a couple of questions regarding Chris’s values and goals as well as information and/or circumstances that might require more information.
  • We discuss these as a class and then I divide students up into small groups of 3-4.


  • Pre-Cut Option Cards (one set per group)
  • iPads or Laptops (if using Iron Chef Challenge)
  • Projector & Screen (if using Iron Chef Challenge)


  • Once students are in their groups, give them a deck of option cards. The option cards are divided up among group members as evenly as possible.
  • Each student in the group takes a turn and reads their option aloud. As a group, they discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the option, writing them on the back of the card (+ is for advantages and – is for disadvantages). Students continue this same process until all of the cards are discussed.
  • As a class we discuss the option, and the person who had that card from each of the groups shared their advantages and disadvantages. Sharing this way may take a bit longer, but it verbally engages every student. Continue until all options are shared. At this point you could also ask students if there are any other options they would or should consider that were not included in their deck. If so, discuss them too.
  • Next, have students consider Chris’s values, goals, circumstances, etc. and discard and share any options that are unsafe or illegal. Continue by having them discard and share any options that seem impossible or unrealistic.
  • Students then look over remaining options and decide which are worth Chris exploring in more depth and what information might be needed to move forward. This is also a good time to talk about who Chris can reach out to if questions arise or more information is needed for an informed decision. Options include: guidance counselors, teachers, friends/family, someone you might know in the field, job shadowing possibilities, etc.
  • Finally, students make a decision for Chris and share their reasons.
  • Students then complete a follow-up where they analyze the outcome of Chris’s decision should it be implemented. Students also evaluate how realistic the process is in making a major decision.


Other Decision Making Scenarios

Photo by William Fortunato from Pexels

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