Growing Ethics Across the Curriculum - National Ethics Project

Ethics crosses disciplines and traditions as UVU students meet with Ute Mountain Tribe members at the school’s Capitol Reef Field Station.

Elaine Englehardt was an instructor at the Utah Technical College in 1986 when she designed the first grant-funded Ethics Across the Curriculum (EAC) program. The National Endowment for the Humanities agreed that a required course in ethics might help the 1,700 vocationally minded students to examine their own lives.

Utah Valley University (UVU) has grown from a technical school to become the largest state university by headcount. Thanks to Dr. Englehardt, UVU’s Distinguished Professor of Ethics, EAC is woven into the school’s tapestry. All 40,000 undergraduates take Ethics and Values. Many encounter ethics in upper-level units and courses taught by some of the hundreds of faculty members who completed a summer seminar on incorporating ethics into different disciplines. UVU’s ethics center hosts faculty research fellows and an annual Ethics Awareness Week that engages students across campus.

With additional grants, Englehardt ignited interest in ethics education elsewhere. Dissemination projects seeded EAC in K-12, higher education and in the public arena. Grants provided seed funding for the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum, which Englehardt now leads, and its journal Teaching Ethics.

Englehardt credits shared passion and engaged colleagues for the more than 30 years of EAC success. “Ethics is the glue that holds us all together,” she said.

Has ethics made a difference at your institution over time? Contact Deni Elliott,, with ideas for forthcoming Spotlights.

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