I feel that taking an ethics course is beneficial because not only does it help you understand your own views, but also helps you with decisions, and question actions in the past and current. You learn why people think the way they do, why societies are the way they are and the societies beliefs. You learn about ethical systems, why they are good and bad. Not to mention that debating is a healthy way to learn.
A good book to read is " Ethics for Life by Judith A Boss"
The most effective aspect of mandatory ethics courses is that they teach students to consider consequences. Since students hold little accountability for their educations in contemporary society, there is less consideration about the consequences of actions. Thus, a course that emphasizes that every action comes with consequences is a good idea for students.
A persons belief system may be learned at home, but that doesn't make that belief system their own. It is their parents, grandparents, etc. I believe taking an ethics course can help a person have their own system of belief. It doesn't hurt to gain the knowledge of other systems so you can understand how other people think and guide their reasoning.
The course should not be graded. A pass or fail will make students feel that their views and morals are completely right or wrong. The grading system makes students adapt to a "you're wrong and I'm right" kind of system. A debate style course will allow students to be very open minded and willing to participate in more conversations
Society thrives upon morality. And knowledge is the true morality, imagine people everywhere applying the Socratic method to every choice decision and action they make. Waste, poverty, racism would be eradicated, all the world evils of the status quo would be gone instantly. Finally there would be no longer amoral behavior.
Morals and ethics are not something you learn in a class it is something that is taught in a household and supported by peers. The reason for this that what somethings that are ethical where ever you are might not be the same else where. Also if you can not differentiate right from wrong than it shows that the ethical and moral values you were taught in your childhood lay solely on your parents. A class can not teach you this than again what better teacher than your mother.
The whole topic begs the question; is it ethical to force students to take courses that have no impact on their intended careers? In addition it would seem to me that ethics are not something one can teach they must be learned (usually through experience) that in the long run being unethical only hurts yourself