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Summary

“Ethics at the Beach” (EAB) is an ethics seminar jointly sponsored by the Associated Business Students Organization Council (ABSOC) and the Ukleja Center for Ethical Development. ABSOC is the coordinating council for all business student organizations at CSULB and is advised by the Assistant Dean of Students, Division of Student Services.  The Ukleja Center is a program housed in the College of Business Administrationwith the vision:  “Equipping people with the transformational power of ethical leadership”.  

 

The purpose of EAB is to provide a theoretical construct for ethical leadership and to engage students in realistic scenarios about ethical dilemmas that they might face in the workplace as future professionals. The format includes lectures by corporate executives and interactive, small group discussions facilitated by industry professionals. Students who complete this four-hour seminar receive a certificate issued by the Ukleja Center. 

Theme and Learning Outcome

Ethics at the Beach Agenda

Target Audience

Evaluation

Conclusion

Theme and Learning Outcome

“Innovative approaches to ethical leadership” was the theme for the fall 2008 seminar.  One learning outcome was:  “that students will be able to identify two behavioral changes in their personal and/or professional lives as a result of participating in the seminar”. 

Ethics at the Beach Agenda

This fall’s agenda included the following; see Appendix A for more details::

Ethical Leadership in Managing a Diverse Workforce

Tony Costanzo, Human Resources Manager, Target

Samir Shah, Group Director, Target

Ethical Leadership in Managing Across Generations

Jenna Belknap, College Recruiter, BDO Seidman

Sarah Harris, Office Manager, Geotechnical Professionals Inc. (CSULB 2006)

Robin Watkins, Client Relations Manager, Marketwire (CSULB 2006)

Working Lunch with Business Ethics Scenarios and Post-Lunch Debriefing Jim Eaton, President, Airdrome Precision Components, a PCC Company

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Target Audience

Although EAB began in spring 2007 as a program targeted to business majors, a concerted effort was made to attract students from diverse majors in fall 2008.  See Appendix B for a list of programs, departments or individuals who were contacted as part of the promotional efforts and Appendix C for a sample of the electronic flyer.  It should be noted that, due to a medical emergency one week before the program, speaker Dr. Kathleen Lacey was replaced by a panel discussion. 

Sixty-two students attended the program of whom 35 (56%) were from the College of Business Administration.  The other students had majors representing all of the other colleges, with the exception of College of the Arts:

 

              College of Liberal Arts = 14

              College of Health and Human Services = 5

              College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics = 2

              College of Engineering = 1

              College of Education = 1

 

There was one undeclared major, and one participant who listed himself as pre-law and an alumnus.Two students reported that they were double majors:  Finance and Spanish, and Rhetorical Communication and Physics. 

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Evaluation

Students completed an evaluation form at the end of the seminar prior to receiving their certificates (see Appendix D for a full summary of the results).  One question addressed the learning outcome previously identified:  “I will make the following two behavioral changes in my personal and/or professional life as a result of this ethics seminar”.  Unfortunately, many of the 49 student responses did not provide the data that was originally sought.  They were much more general than anticipated.  However, there were behavioral components in the following statements upon which the students could have elaborated:

I will try to find a job with a company that is ethical and agrees with my values.  
Look for companies that match my intrinsic goals and beliefs.
Find a company whose values match mine and work for them
Participate in leadership workshops and activities
Seek out more leadership opportunities
I will develop a personal vision that I can take with me into the work place.
Create my own vision
Watch the tone of my voice when giving direction
Speak more with people from different generations
Be aware of technological differences [between self and members of other generations] and offer help if they’re receptive
Not texting at work and when I graduate
Not fudge any audit trail

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Conclusion

Overall, the evaluations for Ethics at the Beach indicate that the seminar does provide a positive learning experience for students.  Ukleja Center Faculty Director intends to include promotion of EAB via faculty who have received grants for teaching “ethics across the curriculum”.  Assistant Dean of Students Caveness will contact selected campus departments that employ significant numbers of students.  She will solicit feedback on how EAB can be beneficial to the professional development of those student employees in those particular programs.  Such feedback should prove useful in determining learning outcomes for the 2009 edition of Ethics at the Beach.  If the learning outcome identified in this report is to be continued, the related question on the evaluation form will be modified.  It will provide concrete examples so that respondents more clearly understand the intent of the question