• Ethics in Education

    ethics-in-education-logo

    HSU and Ethics Education—A Brief History

    The mission statement of Hardin-Simmons University “is to be a community dedicated to providing excellence in education enlightened by Christian faith and values.From its beginnings the university has been determined to deliver a quality education. To that end, HSU early on began to align itself with accrediting organizations whose function was to assist in maintaining degrees, programs, faculty, facilities, and institutional organization at a high level.

    A primary accrediting organization for HSU is the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools (SACS).SACS is one of the regional accrediting agencies in the United States.

    A standard which SACS calls for address is called the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Hardin-Simmons submitted to SACS and is nearing completion of a QEP called “Ethical Decision-Making:Student Education within the Professional and Preprofessional Majors.” For the complete Quality Enhancement Plan document approved by SACS for implementation at HSU see QEP Report.

    Description and Focus of the Plan

    While ethical decision making is an implicit part of much of the university's curricular focus as a private, Christian university, we recognize that ethics should be more explicitly integrated into our undergraduate professional and pre-professional programs. The QEP engages every aspect of our campus community, including the training and collaboration of faculty members in the development of ethics curricula across the campus, the allocation of budgets for new courses and related activities, and the reinforcement and application of ethical decision-making education through student life activities.

    Rationale for the Plan

    As a faith-based institution of higher learning, ethical and moral education is central to our university mission; therefore, focusing our QEP in enhancing and expanding such training in our curriculum and campus activities is appropriate. Further, given the recent, well-publicized failures of some of our society's leaders to make appropriate ethical decisions, our QEP is timely, even critical, for the education of the next generation of our nation's leaders. Consequently, we are developing or enhancing ethical decision-making content in all of our undergraduate professional and pre-professional programs. The university is also developing a minor in ethical studies, available to all majors. The minor is coordinated by the Logsdon School of Theology.

    Goals of the Plan

    To develop or strengthen ethical decision-making education in the undergraduate professional and pre-professional programs, the university is focusing on accomplishing three goals, each with specific initiatives for achieving the goal.

    • Goal I: Students will deepen their knowledge and understanding of the discipline of ethical studies.
    • Goal II: Students will develop and utilize skills in ethical decision making.
    • Goal III: Students' capacity for self-examination will be heightened through learning environments that encourage critical thinking and self-assessment in matters of morality and social integrity.
    • Goal IV: Students will internalize a commitment to life-long ethical leadership in their careers and communities.

    Execution of the Plan

    The QEP was formally initiated in the spring of 2008. Between 2008 through 2011, individual schools and colleges have each, in turn, reviewed its curriculum and determined the extent of ethics education within the current curriculum. The faculties of each school or college have attended summer workshops for faculty development and collaboration relating to developing and enhancing ethics education within the curriculum. Faculties have determined appropriate student outcome goals, and initiate and implemented curricula changes designed to enhance ethics education for their students. They have developed and initiated appropriate assessment tools and processes to determine the success of students in meeting student outcome goals. In support of the ethical education curriculum, the university created an organizational structure to ensure both support for and evaluation of the QEP. An Ethics Education Council was created and has had the primary responsibility to oversee the execution and assessment of the QEP.

  • A Princeton Review Best Western College  
  • Council for Christian Colleges & Universities  
  • Center for Student Opportunity: Promoting a College-Bound Culture  
  • US News Best Colleges  
  • The Chronicle on Higher Education, Great Colleges to Work For: 2014  
  • Military Friendly  
  • Colleges of Distinction  
  • University and College Accountability Network