Honolulu Community College
of the Ethics Component of the AA Degree/General Education Core:
provide Honolulu Community College graduates
knowledge of ethical issues and skills in ethical reasoning, which will
them in realizing self-sufficiency and personal fulfillment, and to be
contributors to their community and world. (Also see Program and Course/Student Learning Outcomes
and Assessment Strategies)
Contemporary Ethical Issues (E) Hallmarks
Contemporary Ethical Issues Explanatory
- Contemporary ethical issues will be presented and studied in a
is fully integrated into the main course content.
- The equivalent of one semester credit-hour or 30% of a
will be devoted to contemporary ethical issues.
- A minimum of 8 hours of class time will be spent discussing
- The disciplinary approach(es) used in the course will give
for the development of responsible deliberation and ethical judgment.
- Students will achieve basic competency in analyzing and
contemporary ethical issues to help them make ethically determined
- E-focus courses must be 100 level or above.
- Approval for E-focus courses will be for a period of two
instructors for E-focus courses must apply for renewal of E-focus
every two years.
- The themes for E courses are expected to be quite varied. The
anticipates courses treating such issues as fairness in business
professional ethics, ethical issues in technology, discrimination,
and dying, victimless crimes, sex and reproduction, privacy,
property, the distribution of health services and so on. Courses may be
associated with particular vocations, disciplines, professions and
enterprises: engineering ethics, computer ethics, the ethics of human
animal research, medical ethics, bioethics, biotechnology, business
ethics in government and leadership, and journalistic ethics, for
Still others might look at ethical issues that emerge at cultural
war, evangelism, colonialism and multi-cultural societies, etc. It is
that the issues not be a minor part of the curriculum but are fully
into the main course content. Students must not only be encouraged to
ethical principles, guidelines, and justifications related to a
discussion but also engage in deliberation of how they might apply in
- Course materials must be pertinent to the ethical issues
While well-selected textbooks on ethics and applied ethics would serve,
so would case studies, judicial opinions, statutes, codes of ethics
commentaries), film, works of art, performances, as well as a broad
of other readings. It is anticipated that most courses will incorporate
materials of several kinds.
- Discussion and deliberation are important methodologies in
of ethical judgment and may involve varying degrees of involvement and
presentation. Different approaches might include small group
formal debate, round-table discussions, Socratic questioning, formal
journals, and so on. While no specific limits are placed on the range
combinations of disciplinary approaches that may be used -- for
professional ethics, policy analysis, social criticism, philosophical
religious ethics and law, theoretical criticism and interpretation --
academic approaches and methodologies should suffice to give students
for the development of responsible ethical judgments.
It is important that E-courses not be purely descriptive, merely
for example, the moral commitments of a person, a society, or a
Nor is it intended that the pedagogy be value-free, using approaches
maintain an "arms-length" relationship with current ethical issues.
the goal of such courses, at least in part, must be to equip students
some degree of proficiency in ethical deliberation. Accordingly, it
not be enough simply to survey a range of abstract moral theories, the
professional ethics of a discipline, or a vocational code of ethics
bringing them to bear fruitfully and responsibly on living moral
Nor will it suffice to introduce a range of divergent opinions without
giving students the tools to assess these. For instance, the
ethics of a discipline are appropriate E-topics provided that they are
brought to bear on contemporary problems.
For instance, students in a computer networking class
exposed to the emerging consensus in this field regarding ethical use
information technologies. But they then could be confronted with
questions of great concern today, such as:
For technical-occupational programs, the following might apply.
- Can intangible property rights be justified?
- Is it ethical to copy, pirate, or bootleg, the intellectual
works of others?
- Should everything posted on the Internet be considered
not, what aspects of a web page should be copyrighted?
- What is privacy and can strong privacy rights be justified?
- Who owns information — including medical histories, work
- What role should our government play in controlling
- How should we balance privacy v. free speech and access?
Each profession has implicit values. The ethical focus is to make
values explicit and to encourage reflection and discussion on
To satisfy the E-focus requirement, the occupational-technical
could integrate an ethical issues-curriculum into the technical
of the course. The ethical issues-curriculum might be accomplished
regular discussions, through a case method, or through studying the
Code of the profession involved. The ethical issues-curriculum could
In applying the E-focus hallmarks to such an obligation list, it is
that students be given real-life deliberation contexts, such as:
- Obligations to oneself. To be the best
one can be. Emphasized would be personal integrity. The ethical focus
be on how to achieve happiness through quality work, excellence,
and the development of potential.
- Obligations to colleagues and trade. Respect for one's
Respect for those who do things differently. A willingness to support,
learn from, cooperate with, trust and teach others. An ability to
in a multicultural setting.
- Obligations to clients. Why the following are important:
delivering on a contract; solving the problems; and avoiding deception.
- Obligations to the larger society. Why
businesses have reasonable performance goals for all employees and
against pressure to achieve exorbitant financial results and profits?
should everyone be treated equally? Why should other cultures be
Why is respect for law important to society? Why should the less
be helped? Why should every child have a role model, a coach, a
a parent? Do affluent countries have responsibilities toward poor
- Obligations to the environment. Why is the health of the
important than profit? Why should nature be protected from blind
Application Cover sheet and Application
- In the context of the administration of justice, when should a
obligation to the larger society take precedence over an obligation to
one's colleagues and an internal "code of silence"?
- In the context of the aviation industry, how would the Code
Regulations Chapter 14, Federal Aviation Regulation, Part 61, Paragraph
37 regarding unauthorized conduct apply in situations of apparent cases
of obligation's conflict?
Form for Renewal of E-focus Designation
Course Evaluation Survey Form