Professional Ethics

This course provides a solid understanding of why ethics is important in every profession. It helps students develop the ability to evaluate ethical issues with reason and logic, and it gives them the tools they need to resolve ethical dilemmas that they will encounter during their career.

Students receive an introduction to the philosophies that have informed ethical reasoning since antiquity and explore the characteristics of an ethical professional. They practice using a decision-making framework to resolve a range of ethical dilemmas faced by employees as well as managers. They consider the relationship between obedience and authority before analyzing the qualities of effective leaders, as well as the ways managers can inspire ethical behavior and create an ethical workplace culture. Students learn about ethical issues specific to online professional communication and digital professional etiquette. They look at corporate ethics and the ethics of marketing before investigating the ethical considerations specific to the industry they are preparing to enter. In their culminating projects, students research a serious ethical issue that their industry faces today. Students work in groups to present their findings and proposed solutions to an audience of industry professionals. Alternatively, they participate in an ethics bowl to exhibit their skills with reasoning and productive discussion.

This course is expected to take a total of 67 50-minute class periods.

Course Scope & Sequence

The Scope & Sequence lists the learning objectives for each lesson, providing you with an overview of what your students will learn during the course. You can use these learning objectives as a guide to determine how the course enables your students to reach the requisite goals set for them.

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Lesson Descriptions

The Lesson Descriptions document includes a brief overview of every lesson in the course. This is the narrative companion to the course Scope & Sequence document.

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Course Support

If you have questions about this course, need a hand with a particular lesson, or just have a great idea to share, please contact Kevin English at We are available to support you in teaching the course while also gathering feedback to improve the NAF curriculum.

Culminating Project Overview

In every NAF course, students complete a culminating project and present it in the final lesson. Download the Project Overview to learn the details about the culminating project for this course and to find out what advance preparation the project entails.

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NAFTrack Certification Course Guide

NAFTrack Certification is a nationally recognized, standards-based set of tools developed by NAF to evaluate students’ readiness for college and career. By completing all NAFTrack Certification requirements, students demonstrate mastery of academic skills and career-related knowledge. The requirements are as follows: for each of four NAF courses, students complete all coursework, pass the end-of-course exam, and fulfill culminating project responsibilities, as evidenced by uploading key pieces of work.

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Correlations to the Common Core State Standards

This document identifies which of the ELA and Math Common Core State Standards are met by each lesson in the course. You can use these correlations as an aid to preparing your students for college and careers.

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We welcome questions and feedback about these course materials. For a prompt response, please email Kevin English directly at

The ZIP file below contains the current version of every file for this course. Be sure to download it before the start of each school year. If you just need a specific file or two, it's quicker to use the individual links listed on this page.

All Course Files (ZIP file)

Unit 1: Introduction to Ethics

Lesson 1: Course Introduction

Lesson Plan
Example Presentation (MOV file)

This lesson uses a .mov file that requires an up-to-date video player such as Windows Media Player or Apple's QuickTime Player to view. If you have difficulty playing this file, please consult the tech coordinator for your school.

Lesson 2: Ethics and Professionalism

Lesson 3: An Ethical Decision-Making Framework

Unit 3: Ethics and Business Practice

Lesson 7: Ethical Misconduct in the Workplace

Lesson 8: Ethics in Marketing

Unit 4: Ethics and Careers

Lesson 9: Ethics and Finding the Right Job

Lesson 10: Ethics in Industry

Lesson 11: The Culminating Project

Lesson 12: Project Presentation and Course Closure

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