While the 2020-2021 academic year will be unlike any other in the University of California, Irvine’s (UCI) history, faculty and staff are working hard to ensure that students still have the well-rounded educational experiences that UCI is known for. Students can still expect to learn from leading experts in their chosen fields of study and can feel confident knowing that their UCI education will set them up for success in their future academic or professional endeavors.

However, UCI’s educational vision isn’t limited to simply teaching the facts and skills associated with specific subjects. Instead, the university strives to challenge students so they can continue to develop and grow on a deeper level. In support of this vision, the UCI Anteater Virtues Project will launch this Fall Quarter 2020. 

Directed by Professor Duncan Pritchard in the School of Humanities, The UCI Anteater Virtues Project is a campus-wide effort to promote the Anteater Virtues—four intellectual character traits designed to help students develop into more inquisitive, open-minded and authentic individuals.

The Anteater Virtues are the intellectual virtues of curiosity, integrity, intellectual humility and intellectual tenacity, and each plays an important role in student growth. Promoting curiosity encourages students to explore a diverse array of intellectual interests and seek out knowledge. Promoting integrity encourages students to be honest not only in their academic endeavors but in their interactions with themselves and others. Promoting intellectual humility encourages students to be tolerant of new ideas and to admit when they are wrong. Finally, promoting intellectual tenacity encourages students to remain determined even when they encounter challenges in pursuit of their intellectual interests.

According to Professor Pritchard: 

“At UCI we are devoted to enhancing our students’ intellectual development as a whole. This means not just teaching them particular subjects, though we certainly do that, but also ensuring that throughout their educational experience here students develop as individuals. The Anteater Virtues project is a way of highlighting this feature of a UCI education, by showing students how their UCI experience can help them become more inquisitive, more open to new ideas, and have greater intellectual determination, while all the time developing their integrity as individuals.”

Faculty can participate in the UCI Anteater Virtues Project by encouraging their students to watch the online modules created for the project on Canvas. The five modules consist of an introduction to the Anteater Virtues followed by a more comprehensive look at each virtue. Each module should take no more than one to two hours to complete. The integrity module is also available as a self-standing course. 

For more information on the modules and ideas about incorporating them into your courses this year, visit the faculty Anteater Virtues page here. You can also check out the full Anteater Virtues website here and the Integrity Module here.

Students can also explore the Canvas page and take the modules on their own. To learn more about the UCI Anteater Virtues Project, visit the student page here. You can also enroll in the Anteater Virtues Canvas course here or the individual Integrity Module here.