JA Excellence through Ethics

JA Excellence through Ethics<sup>™</sup>

With the JA Excellence through Ethics program, students will learn the importance of ethics and ethical decision making and how ethical and unethical choices affect everyone in a community. Along with a volunteer business professional, you will help students explore personal values, character development, and ethics while offering the opportunity to discuss related issues. The program's aim is to show students that the adults around them value ethical behavior. Students need strong character qualities, including respect, fairness, and a positive attitude, to become self-disciplined lifelong learners at school, work, and beyond. As students will discover, character matters.

The JA Excellence through Ethics program is a 60- to 90-minute learning experience with additional optional activities that create an opportunity for volunteers to impact students' lives. Volunteers will serve as role models sharing personal on-the-job experiences and information while leading the JA Excellence through Ethics program session. Optional choice activities may take more time if the teacher and the volunteer choose to implement them.

JA Excellence through Ethics is part of the JA Work and Career Readiness Pathway and recommended for middle and high school students. 


Program Goal 

Demonstrate the importance of ethics and ethical decision making to allow the students to examine and challenge their own choices in daily life, work, school, and in their community.


Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
Classroom-Based Middle and High School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Accountability, Beliefs, Code of conduct, Core values, Decision-making, Employee ethics, Ethical awareness, Ethical dilemmas, Ethical obligations, Ethical reasoning, Ethical standards, Interdependence, Interpersonal skills, Professional attitude, Rights of others, Role model, Social responsibility, Truthfulness, Values Analyze situations and decisions in light of ethical considerations, Apply guidelines for ethical decision making, Consider attitudes, Critical thinking, Examine the competing pressures on young people, Express why ethical standards are important to society and businesses, Listening and communicating, Reading for understanding, Suggest actions to correct problems

Program Sessions

Volunteer Session

Students are introduced to the concept of ethics, participate in a demonstration of why ethics are important to discuss, examine their core values, and explore how we are all interdependent on the choices we each make. Then students are given a process to use when faced with an ethical dilemma. The total time for the session is approximately 60–90 minutes. Optional activities will add more time if you choose to use them.


  • Define ethics, ethical dilemma, values, core values, and interdependence.
  • Articulate how one's core values affects one's choices.
  • Articulate and identify the steps necessary to make ethical decisions.
  • Recognize that individual ethics affect the greater community.

(Optional) Reflection Session

Students will reflect and discuss what they've learning after interacting with the volunteer, a local business professional who articulated how and why professionals make ethical choices and decisions regarding relationships, the work environment, and life. The session will take approximately 45 minutes.


  • Apply key terms and concepts used in the volunteer-led activities.
  • Use intentional, ethical decision-making skills to consider outcomes and consequences of choices.
  • Self-examine to develop a personal awareness of values to begin to see the connection between their words and actions.

(Optional) Extended Learning Opportunities

Online Resources from Junior Achievement USA

Have students log on to the JA sites to learn more about ethics.

The Debate Team

Have students debate about a ethical dilemma.