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 Utah Technical College when she designed the first grant-funded Ethics Across the Curriculum (EAC) program. It was 1986. The National Endowment for the Humanities agreed that a required course in ethics might help the 1700 vocationally minded students examine their own lives.

Utah Valley has grown from a technical school to become Utah’s largest university. Dr. Englehardt is UVU’s Distinguished Professor of Ethics, and all 40,000 undergraduates still take Ethics and Values. Many also encounter ethics in upper-level units or courses taught by some of the hundreds of faculty members who have completed a summer seminar on ways to fold ethics into the courses they teach. UVU’s commitment to ethics grew as it evolved into an institution that offers both university degrees and open-enrollment vocational curricula.

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, elliott@usf.edu, with ideas for forthcoming Spotlights.

One thought on “Growing Ethics Across the Curriculum

  1. I am impressed by your continuing effort to make such an important mark on the academic training each student gets by attending classes inspired by your insight and humanity. I have been in and out of the program as a adjunct professor (1987 – 1990, 2000-2003, 2020) and I can honestly say that I have found great fulfillment in participating in teaching the subjects “as old as time”. The true wealth of the program is in the students and how they respond to the question “have you been changed” and “do you see a little more” and with a smile they admit that they have. So you have my support and congratulations. Well done.

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