2021-2022 Academic Catalog

Ethics and Multicultural Emphasis List (EMEL)

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All academic programs are required to devote at least 3 credits of the General Education Options category to the Ethics and Multicultural Emphasis List (EMEL), a list of courses focused on values, ethics or multiculturalism. Programs may choose to require a specific course (or subset of courses) from the list.  Students should check their advisement sheet or consult with an adviser to be sure of any specific requirements. 

All EMEL courses are General Education menu courses that have a particular focus and primary emphasis on (at least) one of these two areas:

Multicultural Awareness

Students will become knowledgeable about cultural similarities and differences. Students will gain an "understanding of how people's experiences and perspectives are shaped by gender, ethnicity, culture and other factors that distinguish groups of people, coupled with recognition of common elements within human experiences that transcend time, space, race and circumstance" (PASSHE BOG Policy 1993-01).

Multicultural awareness assists individuals, regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, social class or race, to understand and appreciate events and people from various points of view. The primary focus of a course on this list must be one or more of the following: gender or gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, racial diversity, world religious belief systems or cultural diversity.

Educational Goals:

  • To recognize one's own cultural background and views, including biases and prejudices toward other groups, while comparing and contrasting them with the values, beliefs and practices of other cultural groups;
  • To outline diversity, either historically or cross-culturally, for the population(s) under study;
  • To explain how cultural groups define social constructs (e.g., gender roles, gender attribution, gender ideology and gender identity) and how these are expressed;
  • To identify and explain the social behavior of the population(s) under study; and
  • To explain why tensions exist between cultural groups and how such tensions are expressed, such as attribution and ideology.


Students will gain an "understanding of the role of values in personal, professional and civic life; experience in recognizing and analyzing ethical issues" (PASSE BOG Policy 1993-01). The study of ethical values includes the acts, customs and institutions regarded in a particular, usually favorable, way by a group of people. Ethical and moral values must be the primary focus of the course, not just a topic. The phrase "ethical values" here should be understood in contrast to values applicable only to limited contexts, such as personal or professional success, or adherence to laws and regulations.

Educational Goals:

  • To apply bodies of knowledge to form the basis for an analysis of ethical values;
  • To explain how ethical values are developed within diverse human frameworks;
  • To analyze, synthesize and evaluate how ethical concepts are formed;
  • To apply an analysis of ethical values to other branches of knowledge or to issues of universal human concern; and
  • To adhere to ethical standards in the world at large and within professional settings.