Graduating with Honor
Best Practices to Promote Ethics Development in College Students
by Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP, and Lori G. Plante, PhD
November 2016, 234pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4199-6
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4200-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

From sexual assault to racism and cheating to alcohol abuse, students are prone to dangerously problematic behaviors on U.S. college campuses. Can a concerted focus on ethics help to lessen these behaviors?

A comprehensive summary of best practices in ethics development on campus, providing a variety of practical ways to promote formation of ethics and character among college students and young adults.

We are all called upon to make ethical decisions every day—ones regarding being honest with others, not cheating in order to save effort or get ahead, or avoiding involvement in situations that will result in injury to ourselves or others—in short, choosing whether or not to do the “right thing” in all types of situations. On every relational level and throughout an unlimited range of everyday choices and actions, ethical issues come into play. This is especially true for students and young adults.

Graduating with Honor: Best Practices to Promote Ethics Development in College Students offers best practices for ethical formation on campus, covering subjects such as how to create an organizational culture of ethics; ethical decision-making situations and circumstances on- and off-campus, curricular and extracurricular; specific developmental goals and challenges in the college setting; ethical principles for decision making; and how faith communities can serve the promotion of student ethics. The book also provides multiple resources and examples of successful efforts to mediate unethical behavior by colleges, supplies a theoretical foundation for ethical formation in college, and outlines what colleges, parents, and students themselves can do to nurture ethical development during the college years.


  • Provides best practices on how university students can develop ethical decision-making skills and explains how the college environment can be an excellent place to nurture the development of an ethical imperative in young adults
  • Presents an effective and practical model for personal ethical decision-making that encourages individuals of any age to be thoughtful, intentional, and more likely to maintain one's moral integrity, best interests, and personal sense of honor
  • Documents how a thoughtful approach to the formation of ethics and character during college can impact significant social issues, such as sexual assaults, problematic drinking, cheating on tests, and discrimination, both on-campus and in the general population
Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP, is Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor and director of the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University. He is also an adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. He recently served as vice-chair of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and is past-president of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (Division 36) of the American Psychological Association. Plante has authored or edited 20 books, including Praeger's Religion, Spirituality, and Positive Psychology: Understanding the Psychological Fruits of Faith and Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002–2012; Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy: Thirteen Tools for Enhancing Psychological Health; and Do the Right Thing: Living Ethically in an Unethical World. He has also published more than 200 scholarly professional journal articles and book chapters.

Lori G. Plante, PhD, is a licensed psychologist maintaining a clinical psychology practice in Menlo Park, CA, for more than 25 years. She is a retired clinical faculty member in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. Plante has specialized advanced training in the treatment of adolescents and young adults, as well as psychotherapy and assessment of adults with a wide variety of difficulties. She has published several books, including Bleeding to Ease the Pain: Self-Injury, Cutting, and the Adolescent Search for Self.


“What a wise and wonderful book! The team of Plante and Plante focus on one of the most important and challenging issues in higher education—how best to bake sound ethical precepts into the identity of college students so that they follow those precepts in later life. Every arena of college life is covered. With numerous telling illustrations of what to do and why, the coauthors give concrete advice to faculty, staff, and administrators. This is a book that belongs not on their bookshelves, but rather distilled into the daily education of their students.”—Thomas Ehrlich, Consulting Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education, and President Emeritus, Indiana University

“I have been in higher education for more than 30 years. The Internet, among other changes, has introduced ethical challenges that did not exist when most ethics textbooks were written, everything from instant pornography to hook-up apps to made-to-order term papers. The ethical landscape for today’s college student is a virtual mine field of life-shaping decision points. The Plantes' book provides a map through that mine field and addresses a need too long unaddressed. This textbook is replete with real-life dilemmas and thoughtful considerations of how to approach them. The authors deliver on their promise to 'provide a model for imparting the skills of ethical decision-making to college students during a time of great transition, temptation, and unprecedented freedom.' This book offers life skills whose worth extends far beyond the college years and provides a framework for lives of responsibility, integrity, and compassion.” —Stephen A. Privett, S.J., Chancellor and President Emeritus, University of San Francisco

“True education, as noted by Martin Luther King, Jr., brings forward intelligence and character. In Graduating with Honor, Professors Thomas Plante and Lori Plante seek to advance true education in this sense by defining best practices for nurturing ethics—ethical formation—among college students. The authors provide guidance to students as well as educators, parents, and leaders, illuminating the path for creating an optimal environment for ethical development on college campuses. Situated in the realities of dorms, athletics, and classrooms, this beautifully written text offers insights and practices that are of immediate value to those engaged in campus life. Rather than bringing ethical theory 'down' to the real world, however, Professors Plante and Plante elevate the discussion of college life to enrich our understanding of the hardest moral issues of the day: dishonesty, sexual exploitation, violence, injustice. Martin Luther King, Jr., also reminded us that a person has 'not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.' Professors Plante and Plante through their words and example invite their readers to live more fully by recognizing the role of ethical formation in college students who will shoulder many of the responsibilities of humanity in the future.” —Laura Roberts, MD, MA, Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief (Books), American Psychiatric Association Publishing

"Graduating with Honors is a comprehensive resource offering practical options for the ethical formation of college students. The authors have captured the subtle complexities of the college student experience and offer a range of formation practices that are accessible to students, parents, and student affairs professionals alike.”—Jeanne Rosenberger, Vice Provost for Student Life, Santa Clara University and President, Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators (JASPA)

"Amid a chorus of pessimism and disillusionment about our colleges and universities, Lori and Tom Plante offer up a refreshing critique that takes an honest look at our contemporary challenges and suggest practical steps for faculty, administrators, and parents. Graduating with Honor calls us to imagine how we can deliver on higher education's promise for today's young people as they search for honorable lives of meaning and consequence."—David Quigley, PhD, Provost and Dean of Faculties, Boston College
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.