The College & Career Decision-Making Incubator for High Schools

Designing projects that impact the way students make decisions about life after graduation.

About the Incubator

The decisions high school students make about their post-graduation plans significantly influence their futures. Students need to consider potential career paths, vocational programs, college options, such as two and four year degrees, and other opportunities. Decision Education can provide students with the skills and dispositions to navigate these big choices and support them in becoming better decision makers.

The College & Career Decision-Making Incubator for High Schools is a fully funded opportunity for schools to design and pilot new instructional models nationally.

Our Incubator Schools

Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High School

Concord, NC

Project: Developing Decision-Making Skills in 9th and 10th Grade Seminar

Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High School is rewriting their seminar curriculum for 9th and 10th grade students to implement Decision Education. In future years, they plan to extend this curriculum through 11th and 12th grade.

Each student will create and maintain an electronic portfolio chronicling their experiences and decision-making efforts during their four years at the Early College. By the time they graduate, students will have curated a variety of artifacts—decision tools, reflections, projects, and more—that will answer the question, “How have the experiences and decisions I’ve made over the past four years empowered me for success in college, career, and life?”

This shift to portfolio-based assessment will make educators more deliberate and intentional about having the students reflect on the significance of the unique experiences afforded to students in the early college program, as well as how the choices they make as young adults will have an impact on their lives once they graduate.

  • Institution Type: Public/District
  • Grade Levels Involved: 9th-10th
  • Number of Students Impacted: Approximately 120 Students
Church Farm School

Exton, PA

Project: Implementing Decision Education to Enhance College and Career Planning

Church Farm School is completely revamping their college planning curriculum for 11th and 12th  grade students. They will participate in a series of lessons that focus on decision-making and the college admissions process, helping them to clarify their values and generate a list of colleges that align with their long-term goals, strengths, and interests. To enhance the curriculum with real-life experience, they will add on two new opportunities for students: They will launch the Brotherhood Network, connecting their current students with recent alumni to provide additional insight and support during the college application process, and they will also lead the senior class on their first college tour, including HBCUs and other colleges.

  • Institution Type: Independent
  • Grade Levels Involved: 11th-12th
  • Number of Students Impacted: Approximately 50 Students
Cristo Rey Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA

Project: Integrating Decision Education into 9th and 10th Grade Advisory Curriculum

Cristo Rey Philadelphia is revising their advisory curriculum to begin teaching Decision Education in 9th and 10th grade in the 2023-2024 school year. The curriculum will incorporate Decision Education K-12 Learning Standards to engage students in college and career exploration, and help students to ensure that the decisions they make about their high school experience align with their college and career goals. Students will leave 10th grade advisory prepared to participate in Cristo Rey’s college and career counseling courses.

  • Institution Type: Independent
  • Grade Levels Involved: 9th-10th
  • Number of Students Impacted: Approximately 300 Students
Lincoln College Prep

Kansas City, MO

Project: Applying Decision Education Skills and Concepts to Get More Out of College Visits

Lincoln College Prep is teaching Decision Education skills to 11th and 12th graders by having students explore how they felt during their college campus visits. Their goal is to help students identify colleges that align with their values and achieve their goals for the future by critically comparing their responses to pre- and post-visit surveys. These campus visit reflections will include qualitative, written responses as well as quantitative, numerical ratings, and will be useful to students to look back on when they are completing applications and deciding on a college to attend.

  • Institution Type: Public/District
  • Grade Levels Involved: 11th-12th
  • Number of Students Impacted: Approximately 500 Students
Livonia Middle/High School

Livonia, NY

Project: Career, College and Life Decision-Making for Sophomores

Livonia Middle/High School is designing a 10th grade elective course entitled “Career, College and Life Decision-Making”. In this course, students will learn skillful judgment formation and decision-making. Designed to help them make more informed college, career, and life decisions, this course will focus on processes and skills that can improve students’ ability to reach decisions that work best for them in both the short and long term. There will be hands-on experiences to help students explore their interests, values, and different educational and vocational pathways. This 20-week semester-long course is offered in the fall and spring, and meets every other day for 40 minutes.

  • Institution Type: Public/District
  • Grade Levels Involved: 10th
  • Number of Students Impacted: Approximately 100 Students

The Incubator Experience

Program Details

Each school joins the Incubator for 18 months—and appoints a small team of 3-5 staff to lead the work—taking part in professional development, working with an Alliance coach, developing their project, and implementing it with students. Schools accepted into the Incubator receive:

$30,000 in flexible funding to support all aspects of the project, from professional development time to planning and student implementation.

15-20 coaching days with an Alliance Education Manager.

Access to our asynchronous Intro to Decision Education online course for educators, with coaching support.

Networking and collaboration opportunities with other schools in the Incubator.

Alliance support and guidance about assessing the success and impact of the project.

Opportunities for media coverage, including school highlights, as well as teacher and student stories and case studies.

Upcoming Incubator Events

We are excited for the opportunity to have the Alliance as a thought partner in creating and revising curriculum to best support our students. We believe our students will benefit from using decision-making skills as they make their post-graduation plans.

Flannery O’Connor
Principal, Cristo Rey Philadelphia

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