July 30, 2008
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
Ethics certificate program part of Life Long Learner
COLUMBUS, Miss. - Mississippi University for Women
will offer a certificate in applied and professional
ethics this fall.
The program will allow students, area professionals
and interested persons from various disciplines and
backgrounds in MUW’s service area to develop
expertise in ethics that is directly relevant to the
advancement of their educational goals.
It will be a valuable credential to those who need
ethics training in preparation for graduate and
professional school, licensure, service on
institutional ethics committees and compliance
boards or who currently
hold leadership positions in various professional
and business areas.
The program is ideal for nurses, social workers,
leaders and other professions.
“At the end of the day, the program helps you to be
a better thinker,” according to Dr. Bryan Hilliard,
associate professor of philosophy at Mississippi
University for Women, who said they think it’s the
only certificate program of its kind in the state.
Curriculum for the program will consist of 12
semester hours (four courses). Ethics and
contemporary ethical problems would be required.
Students may choose two additional courses from the
remaining five areas: sport ethics, nursing ethics,
business ethics, medical ethics and political and
Dr. Rita C. Hinton, MUW chair of the Department of
Languages, Literature and Philosophy and professor
of philosophy for 15 years, said ethical problems
occur on a daily basis.
“If you just look at the headlines in a daily
newspaper, you will notice this. The problems are in
every profession and in every aspect of our lives.
Some of these problems are because our technology
has moved so fast that our value system has not
seemed to stay caught up. People simply do not know
what the right thing to do is. This seems to be the
case with many issues in medicine. Other times,
people get so involved in what they are doing and
other goals that they might have, that they do not
consider that what they are doing might not be right
or might contradict what they say they consider to
“People do odd things when they get so wrapped up in
a particular goal (like winning or making a profit).
One example of this in sport is when some parents of
pee wee football players poisoned the drinking water
of the opposing team so that the team their kids
were on would win. Surely, even they would not
consider this to be right.”
Hinton said studying ethical issues does not
necessarily solve them, but it at least gives
society a way to look at things from various
“If we can get individuals to think through issues
rather than just acting, they will more likely act
in a way that they and we would approve of,” she
said. “Some people are cynical and think that you
cannot be ethical in business or in sport or in
medicine or in many other areas. The study of ethics
assumes that you can be ethical. The more practice
we put into making good decisions, the better we get
at making the hard decisions.”
Dr. Sandra Jordan, MUW provost and vice president
for academic affairs,
said, “I think we are filling a real need in the
region, noting a fair amount of interest in the
A new admission process for the certificate has been
put in place, according to Jordan, who said
certificate programs have been popular in
the United States as a way of advancement for
“It is streamlined, easy to complete, available
online and does not require transcripts. It is
called the Life Long Learner Application. It is up
and running.” A person should be able to complete
the program in one or two years.
Roger A. Burlingame, vice president-general manager
of the southern
region of Ceco Building Systems, said lifelong
learning is essential to
understand the world and succeed.
"Mahatma Ghandi said, 'Live as if you were to die
tomorrow. Learn as if
you were to live forever.’ The world is a rapidly
changing place and it has little patience for those
who do not adapt accordingly. He added,
"Unfortunately, I did not learn everything I needed
to know in kindergarten. Some of the most useful
knowledge I have obtained has come from what I have
learned most recently."
For more information, visit the following site
the MUW Office of Admissions at (662) 329-7106.