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The Ethics Certificate

Through the Humanities and Ethics Center, the Humanities Division will offer a certificate program in ethics for undergraduates (the proposal will begin in Fall 2014). The purpose of the certificate is to promote ethics learning and training across the university and to offer a credential in ethics training for our traditional undergraduate students. It is our hope that the certificate program will eventually be offered to constituencies outside the university – to individuals, governmental agencies, or companies interested in ethics training.

Program’s Philosophy

The study of ethics is an intrinsically valuable enterprise that helps improve a community’s collective well being by allowing the individuals, organizations, and groups that comprise it to mindfully develop their own value systems. Simply, the study of ethics aids individuals, business, and non-profits to clarify their values and serve the common good. Our program seeks to facilitate those processes of ethical development by teaching others to apply ethical theories in order to help individuals to deliberate about contemporary moral dilemmas in ways that will leave them equipped to meaningfully confront the ethical dimensions of their personal and professional lives. Clearly certificate holders will be better positioned to avoid legal liability in their professional lives, but it is our view that the skills the certificate imparts will enrich their lives and the communities in which they live.

The Vision for the Program

The certificate program in ethics will build on Drury’s rich traditions of pluralism and the integration of the liberal arts and professional learning. The certificate program will help our student develop his/her moral compass and provide opportunities to apply it in his/her personal and professional life. The ultimate goal is that ethical inquiry becomes a regular part of a student’s decision-making processes and that ethical thinking be illuminated by both diverse perspectives and the moral traditions we have inherited from the past.

Program Aim

To receive this certificate, students would need to complete 11 hours of ethics coursework. This coursework include both theoretical and applied ethics. Furthermore, the students would need to pass all classes with a “B” average and complete an ethics research project. The certificate would signify significant achievement in and a broad knowledge of ethics.

Program Curriculum – “Building the Moral Compass”

The curriculum for the certificate program has four parts. These are:

  1. Foundations of Ethics (required) – 3 credits

    PHIL 210 Ethics

  2. Diverse Perspectives on Ethical Inquiry (pick one) – 3 credits

    • ENGL 342 Shakespeare and Ethics
    • ENGL 345 Literature and Ethics
    • PHIL 211 Asian Ethics
    • PHIL/RELG 305 Christian Ethics
    • PHIL 315 Buddhism and the Joy of Being Awake
  3. Contemporary Ethical Dilemmas in Personal and Professional Life (pick one) – 3 credits

    • ANML/PHIL 212 Animal Ethics
    • MGMT 319 Business Law and Ethics
    • COMM 285 Communication and Ethics
    • CRIM 341 Justice, Punishment and Ethics
    • ENTR 250 Ethical Problems/Entrepreneurial Answers
    • ENVR/PHIL 320 Environmental Ethics
    • PHIL 250 Business Ethics
    • PHIL/RELG 305 Ethical Issues in Health Care
  4. Ethics “Labs” (two required) – 2 credits

    (a)Engaging Ethics in Personal and Professional Life (required) – 1 credit

    This course helps students identify cutting edge ethical issues that professionals, communities, and individuals are presently facing. The class is structured around a series of guest speakers in which each would present contemporary and global issues in their fields and areas of expertise. Each student would be ultimately expected to identify one dilemma or question to research further in the Ethics Incubator.

    (b) Ethics Incubator (required) – 1 credit

    Working with a faculty member, the student will research one ethical issue taken from Contemporary Ethical Engagement. Through research on the topic and through interviews with local professionals, the student will present a “policy paper,” outlining best-practice ethical policies and procedures in response to the identified ethical issue, to a joint presentation of students, faculty, and professionals in the area. (This course will be submitted to the Core Council for approval as an Engaged Learning course).