Prepare for College Series: Decision-Making and Critical Thinking

Through our challenging and innovative programming, students develop skills that prepare them for college success, both inside and outside of the classroom. These skills serve as the foundation for all of our daily activities. This series will explore the 10 skills which are the focus of our programs.

What is decision-making and critical thinking?

Critical thinking is a skill that requires methodical collection, analysis, and evaluation of information. Decision-making is the use of critical thinking to arrive at sound conclusions and solutions. 

Why are these important skills to develop in a pre-college program? 

Critical thinking and decision-making influence so many aspects of college life. From day-to-day choices like what to have for breakfast to life decisions that could have long term implications, these skills permeate the college experience. Strengthening these skills while in a pre-college program, helps students gain confidence to make their own decisions regularly and builds trust that they will make the right decisions for themselves. This confidence and trust will help them throughout college and beyond. 

How do we help students develop these skills? 

Students in our programs are encouraged to take ownership of their own experience. Our staff is trained to help students reflect and find ways to make decisions for themselves (within the boundaries of program policies). Our programs are structured to mimic college life so that students have the power to make decisions about their experience including course selection, social interactions, and enrichment opportunities. Doing this requires students to reflect on their needs, think critically, come to a conclusion, and be able to communicate it. 


Ryadah was Pre-College Coordinator from 2018-2020 and now serves as Assistant Director for Undergraduate Admissions at WashU.