Personal Responsibility and College Success

Topics: University, Student, Education Pages: 3 (957 words) Published: March 10, 2014
Personal Responsibility and College Success
The absence of personal responsibility is one of the main causes of academic failure (Hwang, 1995). According to Scheldon and Schatchman (2007), one may use Schlenker’s Triangular Model of Responsibility to identify three possible excuses people make to avoid accepting responsibility: prescription, identity, and events. Devising a plan for success in college is an excellent way to ensure that all of one’s academic goals will be achieved. To be successful in college, students must learn what is expected of the successful student, and strive to meet those guidelines.

Personal responsibility encompasses the societal expectations of acceptable behavior placed on all individuals, the effort one puts forth to meet these standards, and acceptance of blame upon failure to meet these standards (Hwang, 1995). For many people, desire to avoid taking responsibility is very strong; Schlenker’s Triangular Model of Responsibility is based on the idea that people will often work to evade responsibility (Singg and Ader, 2001). In the Triangular Model of Responsibility, it is proposed that there are three possible excuses people make to dodge responsibility: denial of personal obligation, claiming that one had no control over the situation, and claiming that the expectations of the individual were not clear (Sheldon & Schachtman, 2007). An example of denial of personal obligation is a student saying that said obligation was not theirs from the start. An example of claiming that one had no control over a situation could be a student saying their failure was something they could not have avoided. An example of a student claiming that expectations of the individual were unclear would be one saying that their instructor did not tell them that their assignment would be due on a specific date. When a student makes such excuses, the student is not taking responsibility. A key component to being personally responsible is to acknowledge...
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