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Contemporary Ethical Issues (E) Focus

Proposal Forms Hallmarks Teacher Resources Requirement Assessment

E Focus sections are designated every semester based on the course/instructor information found in Banner/MyUH.

Faculty members with current, active approvals do not need to submit a Focus proposal form. As long as they are listed as the section's instructor of record in MyUH before continuing student registration begins, their approved Focus designation(s) will be added to their section(s).

Faculty members who do not have active Focus approval for their course (or whose approval has expired) should submit a "Focus form" to request a Focus designation for their section(s).

Department Chairs may submit a "STAFF" form if the faculty member is unknown, or a "COURSE-based" form if the department wishes to designate all sections of a course every semester.

Click here for all Focus proposal forms (in both Word and pdf formats).

Hallmarks of Contemporary Ethical Issues Classes

The faculty on the Contemporary Ethical Issues Focus Board use these Hallmarks when evaluating proposals for the "E" designation.

E1. Contemporary ethical issues will be presented and studied in a manner that is fully integrated into the main course content.
E2. The disciplinary approach(es) used in the class will give students tools for the development of responsible deliberation and ethical judgment.
E3. Students will achieve basic competency in analyzing and deliberating upon contemporary ethical issues to help them make ethically determined judgments.
E4. The equivalent of one semester credit-hour or 30% of a 3-credit course will be devoted to contemporary ethical issues.
E5. A minimum of 8 hours of class time will be spent in discussing contemporary ethical issues.
E6. The course will be numbered at the 300- or 400-level.

Explanatory Notes

  •       The goal of E courses, at least in part, must be to equip students with some degree of proficiency in ethical deliberation. These courses should not be purely descriptive, merely characterizing, for example, the moral beliefs of person or peoples. Nor is it intended that the pedagogy be value-free, using approaches that maintain an “arms-length” relationship with current ethical issues.

  • ·     Course materials must be pertinent to the ethical issues under review. While well-selected philosophical and literary texts would serve, so would case studies, judicial opinions, statutes, codes of ethics (and commentaries), film, works of art, performances, as well as a broad range of other readings.

  • ·     Different academic approaches and methodologies can be used to give students tools for the development of responsible ethical judgments. Approaches might include small group discussions, formal debate, round-table discussions, Socratic questioning, etc.

  • ·      E course may be associated with particular disciplines, professions, and larger enterprises: the ethics of human and animal research, medical ethics, bioethics, biotechnology, business ethics, engineering ethics, ethics in government, and journalistic ethics, for example.  Still others might look at ethical issues that emerge at cultural interfaces, such as war, evangelism, colonialism and multi-cultural societies, etc. Contemporary ethical issues must be fully integrated into the main course content and must be tied to activities that develop students’ proficiency in forming sound ethical judgments.

Teacher Resources

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.Requirements for Students


Students are required to complete 1 Contemporary Ethical Issues ("E" or "ETH") class.


Transfer students may have reduced requirements, based on the number of accepted transfer credits.

Number of accepted credit hours Contemporary Ethical Issues Oral Communication
0-54 1 1
55-88 1 E or 1 O
89+ 0 0



last updated April 23, 2015

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