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Ethics in Action: Since 1842

The phrase “Ethics in Action: Since 1842” keeps popping up in conversations, on the website, and even on mouse pads in computer labs at The Citadel. But what is Ethics in Action? What does it mean to the campus community?

What is Ethics in Action?

Ethics in Action is the focus of The Citadel’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). A QEP is a course of action for institutional improvement that addresses issues contributing to progress in student learning. The Citadel, and all colleges that strive to maintain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), participate in a series of exercises to identify and implement a new enhancement plan every ten years. Accreditation is important because it affirms that an institution of higher learning delivers a quality education that is recognized by independent, educational community authorities, (such as SACS in the Southeastern U.S.).

How was ethics chosen as the subject of The Citadel’s enhancement plan?

A quick review of headlines on most days will reveal that some of the world’s leaders in business, politics, academe and the military make decisions that demonstrate a failure in ethical reasoning. There have also been noteworthy cases of student plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty on college campuses. Enhancing skills related to ethical decision making has been recognized as one of the most pressing needs in society today.

The process of selecting and developing Ethics in Action involved a collaboration of representatives from all of the college’s constituent groups – cadets of each class, evening undergraduate and graduate students, alumni and faculty, employers and staff, and institutional boards and committees. They participated in a series of research, strategy and planning sessions that spanned two years. The subject of ethical reasoning emerged as the focus of the QEP, receiving broad-based support from all sectors. Several other colleges have also chosen ethics as the focus of their QEP.

When does Ethics in Action start and end and what does it mean to the campus community?

It officially begins in fall of 2014 with the freshman class. Faculty, staff and students involved in the planning of the program have worked together to build components of the curriculum and co-curriculum that will be embedded into The Citadel’s existing leadership courses, academic majors and the Leadership Training Program. Learning outcomes will be tracked and measured over a period of 10 years, beginning with the class of 2018.

How can I help or learn more?

To learn more about Ethics in Action: Since 1842, please contact Lt. Col. Tara McNealy, The Citadel’s associate provost for planning, assessment and evaluation, by calling (843) 953-5302 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .