This section is currently undergoing maintenance.

Until maintenance is completed please direct all inquiries to kucore@ku.edu.

Advanced Education Goal 5

Practice social responsibility and demonstrate ethical behavior

To lead productive and meaningful lives, students should develop within and across disciplines a strong sense of intellectual integrity and moral behavior, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, enhance social and civic responsibility, and gain an awareness of and sensitivity for their physical and social environment.

Social Responsibility and Ethics

Requires one unit that meets either Learning Outcome

  • A single course, or
  • A combination of courses, or
  • Course work partnered with community-service work that takes students outside the classroom

Learning Outcome 1:

Upon reaching this goal, students will be able to develop and apply a combination of knowledge and skills to demonstrate an understanding of social responsibility and ethical behavior.

Criteria for this Learning Outcome

Students can meet this outcome through a single course or a combination of courses that must achieve all of the following:

  1. Present and apply distinct and competing ethics theories, each of which articulates at least one principle for ethical decision-making. The combination of theories and principles should address the concept of social responsibility, including responsibility to the physical environment.
  2. Include the presentation and application of ethical decision-making processes.
  3. Include presentation and application, as appropriate, of particular ethics codes.
  4. Include the application of principles, decision-making processes, and, as appropriate, ethics codes to specific ethical dilemmas (such as case studies) in which important values conflict.

An approved combination of courses must substantially address these four criteria. Within this combination of courses, each criterion must be a significant part of at least one course. A combination of such courses might be most easily achieved and coordinated within a particular major.


Learning Outcome 2:

Upon reaching this goal, students will be able to act on this understanding of social responsibility and ethical behavior to others in one’s local, national, or global community, and contribute positively via leadership, collaboration, or other direct action.

Criteria for this Learning Outcome

Students can meet this learning outcome through an educational experience that meets one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Complete an Alternative Break experience of a minimum of one-week duration and enroll for credit in the Alternative Break course.
    1. The Alternative Break one-credit course must be reviewed to ensure the following:
      1. The course must include significant content on the ethics of volunteerism/service.
      2. The course must require a reflection paper or similar assignment that includes the concepts of social responsibility and ethical decision-making.
  2. Complete a Certificate for Service Learning.
    1. The Center for Service Learning will administer this program and determine the criteria for earning the certificate. This designation appears on a student’s transcript. The required reflection paper or similar assignment must include: (1) content on the ethics of volunteerism/service; and (2) concepts of social responsibility and ethical decision-making.
  3. Complete a departmental or school internship or practicum that meets a community need and addresses the following criteria:
    1. The internship/practicum must require evidence that student understands and has practiced ethical behavior and ethical decision-making.
    2. The internship/practicum must require evidence that the student made a positive contribution to the population served.

Example Evaluation Rubric (144 KB)


News & Updates

Welcome to the KU Core site!

The website is currently under construction. If you have any problems finding information, please contact kucore@ku.edu.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times