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Core Commitments: Educating Students for Personal and Social Responsibility

Core Commitments emphasizes five dimensions of personal and social responsibility that describe developmentally appropriate goals for students in college:

Five Dimensions

  1. Striving for excellence: developing a strong work ethic and consciously doing one’s very best in all aspects of college;

  2. Cultivating personal and academic integrity: recognizing and acting on a sense of honor, ranging from honesty in relationships to principled engagement with a formal academic honors code;

  3. Contributing to a larger community: recognizing and acting on one’s responsibility to the educational community and the wider society, locally, nationally, and globally;

  4. Taking seriously the perspectives of others: recognizing and acting on the obligation to inform one’s own judgment; engaging diverse and competing perspectives as a resource for learning, citizenship, and work;

  5. Developing competence in ethical and moral reasoning and action: developing ethical and moral reasoning in ways that incorporate the other four responsibilities; using such reasoning in learning and in life. 

While these five dimensions do not encompass all aspects of ethical responsibility to self and others, they offer a compelling claim as the initial focus for a widespread reengagement with issues of personal and social responsibility.

Character Traits

Find detailed lists of character traits associated with the five dimensions here.