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Colleges & Universities

Values Courses, Character Education & Community Service in Higher Education Programs

When the Maryland Center for Character Education was established, it had as one of its goals the creation of character education courses in teacher preparation programs and in higher level course work. Colleges and universities in Maryland are now beginning to institute courses in character education for Masters Degree Programs in Education. In addition, many colleges place emphasis on community service programs which are strong components in fostering character. Here are some colleges which are currently offering these types of courses & programs:

Stevenson University


Stevenson University once known as Villa Julie College is a major partner of the Maryland Center for Character Education. It is the goal of Stevenson University to become the pre-eminent Maryland University for character education in Maryland. Character education is already being practiced in all classes taught at Stevenson.


Stevenson University has two campuses located just outside of Baltimore in Stevenson and Owings Mills, Maryland. Classes are held on both campuses. Stevenson's original campus, the Greenspring Campus, lies in Greenspring Valley. The Owings Mills Campus is located just six miles (and about 12 minutes) from the Greenspring Campus. This is where you will find the expansive Rockland Center, the School of Business and Leadership, housing, admissions and many other departments.

The School of Education at Stevenson has programs in early childhood education, elementary education, and middle school education. Stevenson University is the only institution in Maryland to have an approved middle school program.


Contact: Dr. Deborah Kraft
Interim Dean, School of Education



Towson University


Towson University is recognized for its excellent programs in the arts and sciences, communications, business, health professions, education, fine arts and computer information systems. The university is located in the suburban community of Towson, Maryland, eight miles north of downtown Baltimore. As a metropolitan university, Towson combines research-based learning with practical application.

Below is an upcoming course in ethics in education that will be offered in the fall of 2010.

Moral Questions in the Classroom
Graduate Course – 3 Credits
Towson University

Graduate Course Description: 3 Credits

Offered through the Department of Educational Technology & Literacy.

How do liberals and conservatives approach moral education? What are opportunities for moral questions in both public and parochial schools? Beyond the classroom, how does a school foster moral development of its children? This course examines competing theories and models of moral education including character education, values clarification, and care theory. You will apply philosophical and psychological theory to your own teaching practice and school setting.

Contact: Rebecca Shargel, Ed.D
Phone: 410-704-2617



College of Notre Dame of MD

College of Notre Dame of Maryland has a proud history of serving as a catalytic change agent as part of its mission to educate leaders to transform the world by providing distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs that challenge women and men to strive for intellectual and professional excellence, to build inclusive communities, to engage in service to others and to promote social responsibility and character development. In support of this mission, the College offers a plethora of undergraduate and graduate level courses that actively challenge students to explore the issue of character and moral development. The following is but a sampling of these courses:




IDS-160: Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies
Focuses on negative peace (i.e., eliminating direct violence, including war) as well as positive peace building (fostering an equitable economic system and ecological balance).

IDS-369 Honors: Genethics
Explores various religious and philosophical positions and arguments on a range of contemporary moral issues related to biotechnology.


PHL-306 The Problem of Evil
Analyzes the Judeo-Christian tradition’s responses to the problem of evil: If God is all good, all knowing and all powerful, then why is there so much evil and suffering in the world and how does this impact the development of one’s character?


PHL-330 Ethics
Introduces contemporary moral issues in light of systems suggested by major thinkers such as Aristotle, J. S. Mill and Kant. Includes considerations of topics such as abortion, euthanasia, cloning and capital punishment.


PHL-334 Business Ethics
Discusses ethics as a dimension of social responsibility, the role of corporate culture in business, and emerging issues in business ethics


PHL-339 Medical Ethics
Evaluates the traditional foundations of moral theory in the West, with special emphasis on issues in medical ethics.


PHL -471 Honors: Morals and Mortality: Ethics of Exiting
Considers the structure and foundations of morality with special emphasis on ethical problems related to death and dying.


RST-304 Christian Social Ethics
Provides students with an opportunity to understand and evaluate various Christian positions on a range of contemporary moral issues related to life in society.


RST-306 Christian Bioethics
Provides students with an opportunity to understand and evaluate various Christian positions on a range of contemporary moral issues related to biology, technology and medicine; e.g., reproduction, genetics and research, end-of-life care, and the allocation of scarce resources.




PHL-521 Ethical Issues in Management
Analyzes a range of ethical issues and dilemmas inherent to corporations and management in relation to both the external environment and the internal processes of the organizations. Learners explore these issues through a series of case analyses.


NPM -560 Ethical Issues in Nonprofit Management
Studies a range of ethical issues and dilemmas inherent in the nonprofit arena. Learners explore these issues through a series of practical applications.


EDU 622 Education and Policy Analysis for Changing Schools
Creates awareness of recurring issues and tensions inherent in providing educational opportunities in a democratic society, including an examination of works such as Rallis’ “How to Create and Implement Ethical Policies.”

Contact: Dr. Gary Thrift
Chair, School of Education
Phone: 410-532-5497


Naval Academy

At the Naval Academy there are two programs that apply to CHARACTER EDUCATION:

The Naval Academy teaches a core course in Ethics and Moral Reasoning to all Sophomores. In this course, the classic moral theories of Relativism, Utilitarianism, Kantian Duty Ethics, Natural Law Theory, and Divine Command are taught. In addition, Character based concepts such as Aristotelian Virtue Ethics and Stoicism are taught. These theories are then applied to cases of personal moral reasoning as well as military ethics situations. The students are taught in a Socratic method in which they are not only asked what option they would choose in the case, but more importantly, why? It is only through deeper and deeper questions of why can the student understand their own moral reasoning and get to the "moral point." The Academy also teaches Constitutional ethics which ensures that these future Naval and Marine Corps Officers understand the terms of their commitment and Oath of Office.


Character development is taught at the Naval Academy through a series of seminars in which the midshipmen have to face difficult situations and explain their actions. It becomes clear quickly that doing the right thing is often harder. To know "the right thing" may come from understanding of your moral values. But to do the right thing will come from Character. So at the Naval Academy they want them to practice doing the right thing many times until it becomes habit (Aristotle). The culmination of this Character development is a "Capstone" seminar during their senior year, in which they spend a whole day dealing with "Issues of Officership". Specifically they deal with the competing priorities of: Truth and Loyalty - The Impact on Decision Making, Competing Demands: Military Career and Family, Responsibility and Accountability, and Justice and Mercy As a Military Leader.

Contact: Capt Rick Rubel
Distinguished Military Professor of Ethics
U.S. Naval Academy
Annapolis MD
Phone: 410-293-6014


Goucher College

The Character Education course at Goucher College, called "Values," is a required 1.5 credit course for the M. Ed. Program and an elective for M.A.T. students. It is designed to provide an overview of values/character education as it relates to changes in today's society. The course explores the role of the school, the curriculum, the teacher, and the family as moral influences. Students develop instructional strategies which can be applied within the classroom and beyond.


Hood College


At Hood College there are two educational programs that include Character Education in the curriculum:


The Elementary Social Studies Curriculum focuses on the multidisciplinary approach to social studies in the elementary school program. Emphasis is on the integration of language arts and social studies. Incorporating a broad range of materials and methods, students will learn subject integration and how to promote thinking skills. The Early Childhood Social Studies Curriculum focuses on the appropriate curriculum and methodologies in teaching language arts and social studies in kindergarten and primary education. Integrated into each curriculum is a component on Character Education and Citizenship.


Dr. George has also presented a session entitled, "Character Education: A School District's Story" at the National Council of Social Studies National Convention.


Contact: Dr. John George
Education Department Chair
Office Hours: Tu 2-4 p.m.; Weds 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Phone: 301-696-3766


Stevenson University

Maryland Center for Character Education at Stevenson

School of Education

1525 Greenspring Valley Road

Stevenson, MD 21153-0641

E-Mail: MCCEcharacter@aol.com