Programs of the Ethics Center
There are five core programs of the Miami Center for Ethical Awareness (MCEA).
Ethics Across the Curriculum
This program is designed to promote “ethical literacy” by providing students with the information and conceptual resources to think critically and constructively about moral issues. It is not the goal of this program to indoctrinate students, but to enable students to clarify their own thinking about ethical issues and to reach rationally defensible conclusions. This is an interdisciplinary program which encompasses the following ethical literacy areas:
- Ethics in Business and Law
- Ethics in Science, Technology, and Medicine
- Ethics in Politics and History
- Ethics in Journalism and the Media
- Ethics in Culture and Society
- Ethics in Religion
- Ethics in Literature and the Arts
- Ethics in Education
- Ethics and Public Service
Some of these are established areas of applied ethics (Business Ethics and Medical Ethics, for example). Other areas (such as Literature and the Arts) expand our understanding of ethics and raise moral awareness.
To promote the goal of ethical literacy, the center
- The Ethics Speaker Series-presents public lectures on ethical topics from individuals of national and international stature.
- Ethical Issues Forums-provide a place for students to voice their ethical concerns. In addition, panels of faculty with expertise in specific topics present their ideas to the campus and community.
- The Ethics Workshop Series-assists faculty in integrating ethics into their disciplines.
- The Ethics Film Series-dramatizes various moral issues for students.
- The Ethics Resource
Center-houses a collection of books, periodicals, educational films, film documentaries, and other resource materials, which are available to the entire college community.
Other goals that will be implemented are:
- The Student Ethics Essay Contest-challenges students to think critically about complex moral problems.
- An On-line Ethics Journal- (2008-2009) will serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas on ethical issues within the college.
The Student Ethics Association
The basis for this program is the Student Ethics Pledge, which reads as follows:
I pledge to seek truth and to critically examine the ideas that are presented to me. I pledge not to give or receive un-permitted aid in examinations, or in reports, or in any other work that is used as a basis for grading. I pledge to respect diversity in people’s beliefs, words, and actions. I pledge to live an environmentally conscientious lifestyle. I pledge to be mindful of the conditions of society and to actively participate in efforts for social progress. I pledge to be informed about current events, to be knowledgeable of world politics, and to participate in the democratic process. Finally, I pledge to encourage others to uphold the values outlined in this pledge.
The Pledge corresponds to the Mission Statement of the Miami Center for Ethical Awareness and reflects the values of Miami Dade College. (For example, procedure 4035 in the Student Handbook outlines the academic honesty policy for our campus.) The objective of the Ethics Program is to support students in fulfilling the Ethics Pledge through a program of coursework and special events.
The program consists of the following components:
- Monitoring Compliance: Students will have forms signed by their professors at the end of each semester indicating that they have complied with the Ethics Pledge. (More precisely, professors will sign a form indicating that, to the best of their knowledge, a student has neither given nor received un-permitted aid in examinations, or in reports, or in another work that is used as a basis for grading. Professors would be provided a space for comments where they could express any concerns they might have.)
- Supporting Students: The Student Ethics Pledge reflects the values of Miami Dade College. It is the task of the Ethics Program to support students in becoming community leaders by integrating these values into their private and professional lives. To this end, students will complete PHI 2604/Critical Thinking and Ethics with a final grade of “B” or above. Additionally, students will attend special events sponsored by the Ethics Center which address the specific values of the Ethics Pledge.
- Certificate of Completion: Upon graduation, students who have successfully completed the Ethics Program receive a certificate.
This program is designed to help Miami-Dade College model the values contained in the Mission Statement of the Ethics Center. The Ethics Center’s role is to support the administration in achieving this goal. Among some specific suggestions for action are the following:
- An expanded recycling program
- Participation in Earth Day Clean Up
- The implementation of alternative energy sources (such as solar power) by the college
- Other projects may become essential as the center grows
We also envision that in the future the Ethics Center Advisory Board may serve the administration as a consulting body on institutional decisions of moral weight in much the same way that corporate ethics boards serve corporations.
Humane Education Studies Program
The aim of Humane Education is to raise awareness about a variety
of interconnected social issues—human rights, environmental preservation, and
animal protection—and to provide students with the tools to create a better,
more just society. The program includes the
Animal Ethics Study Center—a
collection of books, periodicals, videos, and other materials, housed on the
second floor of the Kendall Campus Library. Annually, the Ethics Center hosts
Animal Awareness Week—a series of films, guest speakers, and other public events
on a theme chosen by the program subcommittee.
Community Service and Partnerships
This outreach program is designed to:
- Establish lines of communication and cooperative relationships with other organizations within the college, including the Humane Education Studies Center, the Earth Ethics Institute, the Institute for Ethics in Health Care, Student Life, and the Service Learning Program.
- Create links with other ethics institutes locally (e.g., the University of Miami) and around the country for the purpose of sharing resources and information and possibly conducting joint activities.
- Reach out to the community by offering workshops and seminars to local schools and businesses and by inviting community members to participate in Center panels or seminars, community outreach includes partnerships with the Youth Ethics Initiative.
- Design and maintain a website to promote the Ethics Center as well as serve as an ethics resource for faculty and staff.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Student Ethics Program
Q: Who is eligible for the Student Ethics Program?
Any MDC student actively enrolled in the
current semester. The student must sign and abide by the Student Honor Pledge/Code.
Q: Why should I participate in the Ethics Program?
When you successfully complete the program, you will be awarded an official certificate of completion. This certificate is something you may mention to future employers or in a transfer application. Most schools and companies place a high value on individuals who have a commitment to ethical behavior, and your certificate will provide clear evidence of your commitment. Of course, the Ethics Program will enhance your education by providing you with information about
ethical issues, the skills to evaluate ethical problems clearly, and a forum in which you can share your ethical opinions with others and hear opinions that vary from your own.
Q: What are the requirements of Student Ethics Program?
- Sign and abide by the Student Ethics Pledge.
- Complete PHI 2604: Critical Thinking and Ethics with a grade of ‘B’ or better.
- Successfully complete at least one Service-Learning course.
- Each semester, the student must submit an Academic Honesty Check signed by each of the student’s current professors to document that the student has not engaged in plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty.
- The student must complete 120 points worth of elective ethics center activities.
Q: Will participating in the Student Ethics Program make me an
Not directly, but participating in the program will reflect your commitment to achieving a high standard of ethical behavior. It will raise your awareness of ethical issues and build your capacity to think critically about