As an implementing partner of USAID’s Democracy Strengthening Program in El Salvador, Casals & Associates, a DynCorp International company, recently launched the Promoting an Ethics Culture for University Students (PECUS).
Casals team members worked in conjunction with academic coordinators and professors of participating higher education institutions to create the PECUS program, which promotes an ethics culture among young future graduates by developing the necessary skills and knowledge to become ethical citizens, leaders and professionals. On August 28, 2013, more than 150 students from five local Salvadoran universities attended a launch event for the program.
PECUS Launch Event
U.S. Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte gave the opening address at the event and congratulated students for enrolling in this important initiative and for their willingness to become agents for positive change and contributing to building a more democratic society.
“Ethics must be a constant in our daily lives if we are to be responsible, always doing the right thing, acknowledging the fact that moral obligations are present at all times with the self, with family, with our community, our academic institutions, our professions, jobs, our society, our nation. Democracy cannot flourish without ethics, and politics is profoundly linked to ethics. We all have rights but we must act rightfully in order to succeed and in order to build an empowered society that fights and beats corruption,” said Aponte.
An Innovative Training Program
PECUS is an innovative, five module training-for-trainees program that fosters the need, importance and benefits of building, having and being part of a culture of ethics and transparency starting at the early stages of an individual’s educational development. The program is aimed to raise ethical awareness while encouraging students and faculty to get involved with this academic integrity initiative in the classroom as well as in their everyday lives and in their communities.
An advisory committee of 15 university professors and academic coordinators met monthly with the Casals team to design and formulate the training methodology, contents of the five modules and determine the profile competencies of the consultants and speakers who will be providing the trainings.
The first set of trainees includes 150 students that will, upon completion, act as advocates for a more ethical culture, transferring their knowledge to other young people within their academic community and social circles.
Democracy Strengthening Program
DynCorp International, through Casals & Associates, works as an implementing partner with USAID on the Democracy Strengthening Program (DSP) in El Salvador. USAID/El Salvador’s assistance focuses on strengthening the justice system, supports anti-corruption reforms and public-private partnerships to prevent crime and violence.