Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Major Professor

Harold William Heller, Ed.D.


Ethics, Education, College students, Values, Character education, Moral, Philosophy, Educational leadership, Higher education, Teaching, Family, Society, Religion, Multidisciplinary studies, Self-improvement, Inner development


This study focuses on five main purposes, all of them interrelated and each focused on ethical values, virtues, or character values. The five purposes are: a) Investigate college students' perceptions of ethical values, including their importance, application, usefulness, origin, benefits, need for education, and courses proposed to be included in the curricula; b) Review literature in areas related to ethical values, virtues or character values of college students; c) Develop and pilot an instrument to assess the ethical values of college students; d) Improve and use the developed instrument to describe the status of college students' ethical values; and e) Present conclusions and recommendations from the analysis of the data results.The primary research question was, "What are the ethical values that college students have?" Nine secondary research questions were also studied.This study reviews a summary of 28 lists of values or character strengths proposed by various authors and philosophers across time, as well as the opinions by others who are not a part of any given list. The study will provide an analysis and selection by the author of 28 values identified from the 28 lists. Finally, an instrument which includes a list of 28 values, to assess the above areas of research was developed. This instrument will be available for other researchers to utilize or to conduct additional research as a consequence of this study's findings.