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Characteristics of Student Ownership

When you have ownership of your academic experience, you can be described as having the characteristics of commitment, endurance, and motivation. These characteristics are enabled by the foundational skills you, as a student, acquire. The better you understand the characteristics of ownership, the more you will be able to take ownership of your education and ultimately be successful in and out of school.


A person with commitment has pledged his or her dedication to see something through to completion. This person is actively involved and feels a connection to what he or she has committed. For example, when someone is committed to his or her family, he or she continually devotes time, resources, and energy to help the people in the family.

When you, as a student, have ownership over your school experience, you:

  • Are engaged in your work
  • Are committed to learning the material
  • Feel a personal obligation to do your best
  • Show leadership and positive role modeling for your peers

When you, as a student, show commitment to a class, you:

  • Make it a priority to learn new concepts and complete assigned work
  • Are engaged during class and when you talk with your instructor
  • Manage your responsibilities in and out of school
  • Devote the time necessary to get the work done to the best of your ability


Endurance is the stamina and fortitude to withstand adversity or stress. It is staying on task and maintaining the persistence to finish a job, even if the job is very difficult. For example, a runner has endurance when he or she is able to run for long periods of time, despite pain or exhaustion.

When someone is persistently committed to education, he or she is showing effort and endurance. This hard work is essential to owning a school experience. Learning a new academic or study skill takes a lot of energy because, many times, they are acquired only as a result of repetition and great diligence. For example, despite having many responsibilities outside school, Adam shows ownership of his education by having the endurance necessary to get all his work completed on time and to be prepared for class.


Motivation is the drive to accomplish a task. It is caused by a person’s need and desire to achieve a specific goal. A motivated person directs his or her energy to creating opportunities to reach a particular goal. For example, if an athlete misses a game-winning shot in a basketball game, she is motivated to work hard and practice more so in the next game she will help bring her team to victory. Or when a salesperson does not get a sale with a customer, he becomes motivated to work harder to earn revenue by dedicating himself to persistently contacting the customer, devoting time to learning more about how the customer would benefit from the product, and creating a new sales presentation.

What motivates you to be in school? For some, it is a requirement or an expectation. Others are motivated in school because it is the next step toward getting a job or a raise or in entering a new career. You show ownership through motivation when you are inspired and compelled to reach the goals necessary to complete the work given and all the classes required to obtain your degree.

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