Rowan offers new ethics concentration for all majors

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College students worry about ethics. Really. Just ask Ellen Miller.

"They think a lot about those issues. They could talk about them for hours," says Miller, whose ethics classes at Rowan Universit

College students worry about ethics. Really. Just ask Ellen Miller.

"They think a lot about those issues. They could talk about them for hours," says Miller, whose ethics classes at Rowan University are gaining in popularity with students. "I've found that college students are quite concerned about their society."

A professor in Rowan's Philosophy and Religion Department, Miller is coordinator of the University's new ethics concentration, an 18-credit concentration open to all undergraduate and graduate majors.

With ethics scandals making recent headlines in the worlds of business, politics, religion and journalism, the time is right to offer students the chance to explore ethics through a well-defined course of rigorous study, Miller says.

From education to journalism to business, ethics discussions are part of undergraduate coursework in disciplines across the university. But the ethics concentration is designed to strengthen and develop students' understanding of ethics, enhance their ability to respond to ethical dilemmas in their careers, and explore human character and conduct in depth, according to Miller.

"The ethics concentration addresses the growing need for depth and rigor in ethics training, analysis and examination," says Miller.

Students who pursue the concentration will learn the essential concepts, key issues and history of ethical reasoning. The coursework also will improve their multi-cultural understanding and critical reasoning skills. Importantly, the concentration will make students more marketable professionally, according to Miller.

"Ethical issues will arise in every career," says Miller. "We've tried to make the concentration truly interdisciplinary and flexible for any major."

That's the appeal of the concentration for Brian Mintey, a senior radio/television/film major from Washington Township. Mintey, who also is pursuing a minor in philosophy and a concentration in philosophy/religion, said the concentration will help him as he prepares for grad school.

"I'm gearing up for graduate school for philosophy and I know the concentration will help in my studies," Mintey says. "Having the ethics concentration makes a student very attractive to graduate schools and also to employers."

But beyond that, Mintey, president of Rowan's Philosophy Club, which meets weekly, believes education at all levels should focus on ethics.

"To really benefit our society, education needs to focus on critical thinking and analysis of things in an ethical way," says Mintey.

Rowan's ethics concentration includes 12 semester hours of required courses that focus on issues such as the history of ethics, applied ethics, philosophy and gender, business and environmental ethics, and religion. Six additional semester hours can be fulfilled through the Philosophy and Religion Department or by taking courses from an interdisciplinary bank, such as communication studies, journalism, computer science, history, law and justice studies, political science, psychology and sociology.

"In discussing ethics, we often use case studies from students' future professions," says Miller.

Students in the concentration are required to submit a portfolio which will chronicle their growth and academic progress in their study of ethics.

For more information on the ethics concentration, visit http://www.rowan.edu/philosop/Ethics%20Concentration.htm or contact Miller at millere@rowan.edu.

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