Personal Responsibility in Higher Education This paper will attempt to define what personal responsibility is and how it plays a part within higher education. It will also discuss a couple of strategies for success as a student. Lastly, I will discuss my approach of personal responsibility in my higher education. Personal responsibility according to “Merriam-Webster” (n. d. ), is “Personal: relating to an individual or an individual’s character, conduct, motives, or private affairs often in an offensive manner.. ” (para. 4) and “Responsibility: moral, legal, or mental accountability” (para. 1 sec. a). Now what does it mean to me? I think personal responsibility is the use of dedication, determination and motivation to complete what needs to be done. One must first dedicate themselves to seeing the project to the end no matter the trials. Determination and motivation work as a team to provide the push or drive to stick to the project until completed. All of which should be key points in a strong work ethic. Colby and Sullivan (2009) Five Key Dimensions of Personal and Social Responsibility touch on several good ethical, moral, and basic values.
Of which point one is a great example of strong work ethic: Colby and Sullivan (2009) “1. Striving for excellence: developing a strong work ethic and consciously doing one’s very best in all aspects of college”. Personal responsibility plays a huge part in college success. College is very different from Kindergarten through 12 educations as the teachers no longer give reminders or class time to work on projects. In college you are solely responsible for your actions and deadlines. One needs to learn to balance school, work, and personal entertainment.
Dedicating yourself to completing a college degree means you have chosen to complete your assignments in a timely manner no matter what trials (missing football game with friends, etc. ). Placing reminders of why you are in school, such as images of vacations or life dreams (huge TV, new car, etc. ), throughout your schoolwork or work spaces can increase motivation. Building up your determination and motivation will allow you to better focus on the tasks needed. In addition to the student’s development of their senses of determination and motivation, teachers are able to help set students up for success.
A great article on this view point is “The Responsibility Breakthrough” composed by Lent, ReLeah Cossyett in 2010. One of the key points of this article that falls within the personal responsibility is autonomy. “Too many students have so little experience making academic choices that they don’t know how to decide. ” Lent (2010) this phrase provides a great view of how personal responsibility is lacking in the education system. To help resolve this issue Lent goes on to say “Provide as much autonomy as possible in choice of content, task, texts, partners, delivery, due dates, and assessment.
Teach students responsibility by allowing them to experience” Lent (2010). What Lent is trying to get across is that students will work harder on tasks that they are allowed to choose instead of being forced to fall a set plan. The students can still be required to meet key milestones but by allowing them to choose the topic/process that directly effects their grade/life they will typically pour more effort into it. Developing dedication and motivation within yourself enhances your ability to reach for goals and opportunities. A plan without dedication is just predetermined times and dates for events to happen.
Dedication is recognizing the importance of the plan and striving to ensure it is completed as designed. Motivation is what drives the dedication to keep you on track during the tough times. My personal plan for my education involves keeping a folder/binder with the course syllabus along with a weekly calendar. The syllabus is to reference when working on assignments while the calendar would be weekly printouts with assignment due dates along with assignment details. With the organization part complete I can focus in on my study time.
As my employer is okay with me working on school work for a few hours a day I plan to dedicate my first hour of at work to reviewing and making posts (as I usually arrive around 5:30 am and most employees arrive around 7:30 am). I will also dedicate at least 30 mins of my lunch to review assignments and posts. In the evening I plan to set aside a minimum 2 hours most nights and up to 3 hours twice a week for larger assignments. Therefore without personal responsibility in higher education you sell yourself short for future opportunities because personal responsibility requires dedication, determination and motivation.
By dedicating yourself to a goal and ensuring you have the proper motivation, determination, and help, you will achieve your goals. It will typically set you apart from those that do the minimum to get by thereby setting you up for greater opportunities in your life. Merriam-Webster. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/personal This source provides a standard definition of “Personal” for this paper. Merriam-Webster. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/responsibility This source provides a standard definition of “Responsibility” for this paper.
Guillaume, D. W. , & Khachikian, C. (2011). The effect of time-on-task on student grades and grade expectations. Assessment & Evaluation In Higher Education, 36(3), 251-261. doi:10. 1080/02602930903311708 This report provides results for a study conducted over a three year period, involving civil and mechanical engineering sophomores through seniors over their quarterly classes. It describes correlations of student grade expectations, work or “time-on-task”, and grade results throughout the quarter. The “student attitude” referred to in this report seems to relate to dedication. Colby, A.
, & Sullivan, W. M. (2009). Strengthening the Foundations of Students’ Excellence, Integrity, and Social Contribution. Liberal Education, 95(1), 22-29. A great overview source, it provides good supporting statements for responsibility and motivation. They cite the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) initiative in Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) which delves into personal responsibility. Lent, R. C. (2010-09-30). The Responsibility Breakthrough. Educational leadership, 68(1), 68. This source gives a teacher’s perspective on student’s personal responsibility.