Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2016-2: Promoting Student Self-Determination to Improve Student Outcomes

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2016-2: Promoting Student Self-Determination to Improve Student Outcomes

To: Middle and High School Principals, Administrators of Special Education, General and Special Educators, Students with Disabilities, Parents, and Other Interested Parties

From: Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education

Date: September 18, 2015

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The purpose of this advisory is to:

(1) Highlight the fundamental importance of supporting and encouraging student self-determination to promote successful adult outcomes.

(2) Provide guidance to school districts on multiple means of advancing student self-determination skills.

This advisory is released in the context of previous Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) secondary transition advisories and other ESE resources, both existing and forthcoming.[1] The reader is encouraged to study these materials as an integrated whole. In order to motivate student independence and partner with families, educators are invited to consider additional means by which the content of this advisory can be made available to students and families.

Background

Preparing all students for success after high school is the chief goal of the ESE, and is the goal toward which students, families, and educators work every day in our Commonwealth’s schools. This goal perfectly aligns with a primary purpose of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which is to prepare students with disabilities “for further education, employment, and independent living.”[2]

In 2013, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the state’s landmark college and career readiness definition.[3] This research-based definition, aligned with national guidance[4] and agreed upon by the two boards overseeing the state’s K-12 schools and public colleges and universities, sets out what it means for all students – including students with disabilities – to be prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workplace. It sends a clear, unified message to educators, students, parents, and employers about the Commonwealth’s expectations and the level of preparation and performance that signals a student’s readiness for college and careers.

Notable in the Massachusetts Definition of College and Career Readiness is the recognition of the need for skill attainment in all three domains – academic, personal/social, and workplace readiness – which is essential for adult success as a contributing citizen. Examples of skills or competencies from these domains could be the ability to direct and evaluate one’s own learning, be aware of resources available to support learning in multiple contexts and roles, and have the confidence to access these resources when needed; the ability to interact with co-workers, individually and in teams; motivation and initiative-taking, flexibility, discipline, self-advocacy, and responsibility.

Collectively, these competencies can be usefully understood as self-determined behaviors. Self-determination is defined as “a combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs that enable a person to engage in goal-directed, self-regulated, autonomous behavior. As such, self-determination includes an understanding of one’s strengths and limitations, together with a belief of oneself as capable and effective.”[5] Students who are self-determined are “causal agents in their own lives.”[6] In essence, students who are self-determined know themselves, know how to interact effectively with others, and know how to purposefully set goals and attain them.

Each student can be self-determined in his or her own way. All students can learn to act with intentionality and the expectation and confidence that their actions and words can make good things happen for themselves and others. Educators should take an individualized approach to support the development of each student’s skills, while keeping in mind special considerations for different disability-related profiles.

Fully developed self-determination skills set the stage for the actualization of each student’s personal potential. Students who are self-determined have a voice in their daily lives and in their own futures planning. Research demonstrates that higher levels of student self-determination correlate with higher levels of student engagement, which in turn correlate with higher graduation rates and more positive adult outcomes.[7] Students who feel empowered to express their preferences, who feel their voice is heard, and who understand themselves to be causal agents in their own lives, are students who are forward-looking and engaged.

Self-Determination and Secondary Transition

In special education, the secondary transition process is optimally driven by the self-determined student, as visually represented in the Massachusetts Student-Driven Secondary Transition Model, www.doe.mass.edu/sped/2013/SecondaryTransition/VisualModel.pdf. The student’s vision for his/her own adult life guides the IEP process, and students themselves can play a significant role in their own IEP meetings. The more students are engaged in planning their own futures, the more promising those futures are likely to be.[8]

Massachusetts Student-Driven Secondary Transition Model. The self-determined student's postsecondary goals/vision drives the transition planning process. The student experiences opportunities in education/training, competitive employment, independent living, and community participation and is supported by the whole school, transition assessment, the TPF, the IEP, family, community, and adult services, in order to achieve postsecondary success.

Components of Self-Determination

Self-determination has been defined variously in the research literature but generally is said to include the following components[9]:

Internal Locus of Control: the belief that I – and not some external factor(s) – have control over outcomes that are important to my life
Self-Efficacy: the conviction that I can successfully execute whatever behavior is required to produce a given outcome
Choice- and Decision-Making: acquiring needed information and choosing among two or more known options
Problem-Solving: overcoming challenges to achieve a solution when the solution is not initially obvious
Goal-Setting and Attainment: deciding what I want, determining how I am going to accomplish what I want, implementing and adjusting my strategy, and then measuring success
Self-Regulation: observing, evaluating, and rewarding myself; monitoring my own actions and others’ response to my actions
Self-Advocacy: being able to speak and act effectively on my own behalf, in order to obtain what I need and want; being a leader in my own life[10]
Self-Awareness and Self-Knowledge: knowing my own strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and limitations, and knowing how to use these to beneficially influence my life

The concepts of internal locus of control and self-efficacy lay the groundwork for the development of other self-determination skills. Sometimes students with disabilities are the beneficiaries of other people’s best intentions: they are “done to” and “done for” rather than “do-ers,” not given the opportunity to make choices or to say “no,” not afforded the opportunity to be leaders in their own lives. Sometimes the pace and pressure of everyday life unintentionally limits adults’ capacity to foster young people’s decision-making and independence. Without experience having control over even small things in their own lives, young people can develop the belief that life consists of events that happen to them, and over which they have no influence. Meals arrive, clothing appears, cars and school buses transport them, lessons and homework and grades happen, as regular as the weather and just as removed from their control. Students who do not have the belief that they can make a difference for themselves, who are not engaged in their own lives, are more likely to drop out of school.[11] Students whose “no” has never been accepted – as research has shown for those with intellectual disabilities – are people who are at risk and more vulnerable to becoming victims of crime, abuse, and neglect.[12] Students who do not feel respected and heard are more likely to become frustrated and angry, and more likely to exhibit negative behaviors.[13]

Dignity of Risk

Closely related to the concepts of internal locus of control and self-efficacy is a key idea that arose from the disability rights movement in the 1970s: dignity of risk. A person who is self-determined is one who has been afforded the respect that accompanies personhood, including the right to try and fail. Without the opportunity to experience both the positive and negative consequences of their decisions, young people have difficulty understanding the connection between their choices and the full range of possible outcomes. From the point of view of the student, life will just happen, and maybe – somehow – turn out fine. This perspective does a disservice in the long run to students who will need to function as adults in the future worlds of postsecondary education, employment, and community life.

Those who work with students with disabilities are urged to think how best to provide them with developmentally appropriate, individualized opportunities to make choices and decisions; to say “no” and have that “no” respected; to develop the belief that they themselves, as students, can make things happen; and to develop self-advocacy skills. It is not always necessary to create a special “self-determination curriculum,” though of course this is something that can be done. Instead, opportunities to promote student self-determination can arise organically in the classroom, across the life of the school, in the community, and at home. What is required to take advantage of these opportunities is thoughtful advance planning and recognition when the right circumstance inevitably appears.

An All-Student Perspective

One helpful strategy is to consider what experiences a student without disabilities would be expected to have. These set the standard for the kinds of experiences that students with disabilities can have, with greater or lesser levels of support, based on each student’s individual needs, strengths, interests, and preferences.

For example, how would a student without disabilities – at any given age – work with peers on an assignment, choose what to wear or eat, take a public bus, use a cell phone, invite someone to the prom, make a purchase in a store, behave at work, select a course of study, interact with an employer? What sorts of leadership opportunities would be offered to students without disabilities, and how could the same and similar opportunities be offered to students with disabilities? Could a student with disabilities mentor a peer, lead a workgroup, sit on an advisory council, teach a skill to others, run a meeting? Students with disabilities, educators, families, peers, and others who work with students can strategize how to provide stepwise, scaffolded, individualized opportunities, with fading levels of support, so that each student builds skills that are necessary to participate in the age-appropriate experiences which encourage the growth of self-determination skills.

It is important to note that self-determined students do not necessarily act alone, without the support of others. Throughout the course of our lives in school, in our families, and beyond, we are all interdependent – each person relying on the other for knowledge, companionship, resources, and support.

Congress, in drafting federal special education law, envisioned that all students with disabilities would be prepared to lead productive and independent adult lives, to the maximum extent possible.[14] The term “independence does not preclude interdependence. Each of us needs a different level of support; needing support is part of every individual’s development process and does not demonstrate a failure to be self-determined or independent. In fact, the opposite is true. A fully self-determined person understands what assistance she needs from others in order to reach her personal goals, and knows how to effectively obtain that assistance. A student dreams of being a veterinarian and asks his guidance counselor which courses he needs to take. A person with a fever calls the doctor and makes an appointment. An elderly neighbor asks the teenagers next door to shovel her snow. A manager lacking talent with numbers gratefully relies on the statistical gifts of a team member to help produce an important report. A college student with a reading disability obtains extra time on tests from his disability support office. A student uses a switch to signal she does not want to eat right now. These are all self-determined behaviors; in each example, a person acts as a causal agent in his or her own life and accomplishes a personal goal.

Part of understanding one’s own need for assistance can be understanding the value of choosing and learning from a mentor. It is clear that students who are connected to caring adults in school are more likely to be engaged and successful.[15] Educators and families can help young people to develop the skills to seek out, evaluate, and rely on trustworthy sources of support. The lifelong benefits of acquiring these skills can extend into adulthood in educational, employment, community, and family settings.

Whole-School Approaches

Students who benefit from special education supports and services belong to the whole school. Whole-school thinking and initiatives involve and set the standard for all students, including those with disabilities. In turn, the wisdom and expertise of special education can infuse the work of general education. The Massachusetts Definition of College and Career Readiness has already been discussed. It is important to note parallels and leverage opportunities between the components of self-determination and other whole-school resources and initiatives.

1. Whole-School Curricula and Interventions

SEL Curricula

Clear linkages to self-determination can be made with Guidelines on Implementing Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Curricula.[16] According to the Guidelines, the goals of SEL curricula include teaching the following basic skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. For example, students who are fully self-determined have learned to self-regulate and self-manage in order to advocate for themselves in socially/culturally appropriate ways. Self-regulation and effective communication go hand in hand.

PBIS

School- and district-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)[17] also teach behaviors that educators can explicitly use to build student self-determination skills in the classroom and across all life-of-the-school activities. A whole-school approach will entail integrated planning among administrators, general and special educators, guidance staff, related service providers, families, and students.

2. Whole-School Tools

ILPs

One tool that can be used to encourage all students to have a voice in their own education is the Individual Learning Plan (ILP). According to the Massachusetts Guide for Implementing Individual Learning Plans (ILP), the ILP is a “student-directed, multi-year, dynamic tool that maps academic plans, personal/social growth, and career development activities while taking into account the student’s unique, self-defined interests, needs, and goals for the attainment of postsecondary success.”[18] From sixth grade onward (or earlier, if desired), the ILP can be used to help the student achieve a better understanding of herself – who she is, what she wants to be or do in the future, and how she is going to get there. The ILP is a living document created by the student with guidance from an identified school mentor. Ideally, parents will be collaborators in the process and the information will be shared with key stakeholders such as teachers, guidance counselors, related service providers, employers, etc. As a process, the ILP can help students understand their own needs, strengths, preferences, and interests; ascertain their short- and long-term goals; and chart their own progress. Use of the ILP supports the development of numerous self-determination skills, among them goal-setting and attainment, self-awareness, self-knowledge, and self-advocacy skills, as students learn to effectively understand and communicate their ambitions and needs to everyone who works with them.

Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan

Another whole-school tool that can be used is the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan.[19] Increasingly, schools are providing opportunities for all students beyond the school walls, for example through internships, part-time employment, CVTE cooperative education, or service learning.[20] For students with disabilities, these career immersion experiences provide a rich natural learning environment in which to grow and refine their self-determination skills. The Work-Based Learning Plan is a free diagnostic, goal-setting and assessment tool designed to drive learning and productivity on the job; students can use the plan, together with educators, employers, and families, to chart their own progress in attaining workplace skills.

Other Assessments

Other tools to assess self-determination skills have been developed in the special education realm. Two of the most common are the American Institutes for Research (AIR) Self-Determination Scale and the ARC Self-Determination Scale.[21] Both assessments produce profiles of student strengths and weaknesses and assist in the planning and creation of goals. These assessments can be useful for all students, not just those with disabilities.

Special Education Approaches

1. Student-Directed IEPs

The IEP can be a powerful tool to support the development of student self-determination skills. Support to participate in their own IEP development builds students’ investment in the planning process and their own education, giving them the opportunity to learn about laws that protect their rights, and developing skills such as choice-making, goal-setting, progress measurement, effective communication, self-advocacy, and leadership.

Even from a young age, students with disabilities can attend all or part of the IEP meeting to voice their strengths, interests, needs, and hopes for the future. What do they do well? What do they have trouble with? What do they enjoy? What might help them to learn? What would they like to be able to do by the end of this year? In five years? With individualized levels of support, many young students become quite adept at making a meaningful contribution to the IEP Team process. The more they participate, the more students are engaged in their own education. Families, too, can be key partners in teaching students about the IEP. When parents help their children to understand special education, they also improve their own knowledge and participation in the process.

A Range of Skills and Roles

With individualized and fading levels of support, over time most students with disabilities can learn to direct their own IEP meetings, including:

  • Inviting other members of the team in advance
  • Introducing everyone at the table
  • Explaining the purpose of the meeting
  • Reviewing and evaluating their own accomplishments over the past year, using materials prepared by the student in advance (e.g., Power Points, pictures, videos, portfolios, graphs, lists, etc.)
  • Leading the discussion of the Transition Planning Form (TPF), including postsecondary goals, disability-related needs, and action plan
  • Proposing annual goals
  • Discussing service delivery and placement
  • Evaluating the meeting and their own participation

Preparing for the Meeting

To prepare for the IEP meeting, students can draw upon information from multiple sources, including Individual Learning Plans (ILPs), the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan, and assessments of their academic and functional skills. They will also need to understand the IEP development and Team processes and be grounded in relevant special education and disabilities rights law. Since knowing their rights and responsibilities under state and federal law will be integral to their adult success in the worlds of work, higher education, and civic life, an early start on mastering this material can be highly beneficial. Successful self-advocates understand their rights and responsibilities under the law, and can educate others.

Teaching the IEP Across Subject Areas

All educators are encouraged to collaborate with their colleagues to weave strategic skill-building experiences and teaching on the IEP into the school day. For example, a discussion of laws could be part of a social studies lesson; reflection on strengths, needs, and vision could be part of a writing lesson; students could learn how to facilitate and lead a meeting as part of project-based learning; when working with a guidance counselor or other staff on the ILP, students could assess their own progress on annual IEP goals. The IEP development and Team process can also be taught separately. Educators around the Commonwealth are creating their own teaching materials, and resources can also be found online from places such as the Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment at the University of Oklahoma.[22]

2. The Summary of Performance (SOP)

Another tool that can be used to promote students’ self-awareness and self-knowledge, as well as goal-setting and attainment, is the Summary of Performance (SOP). According to federal law[23], when a student’s eligibility for special education terminates, school districts are required to provide a summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance, including recommendations on how to assist the student to meet her postsecondary goals. The SOP records key information that can be shared with adult agencies and service providers, college disability support offices, and others.

Although the SOP is a district-created document, the student can be involved in its creation, even over the course of several years. Students can evaluate their own performance in academic and functional areas, and offer their own ideas on the kinds of supports they may need in order to be successful adults at work, in higher education or training, at home, and in the community.

Massachusetts provides an optional template for the SOP that records what IDEA requires, but schools, students, and families can work together to add additional information, as it seems useful. Examples of areas which could be considered include the student’s performance and support needs in healthcare, money management, community access and mobility, social skills, behavior, organization, communication, or self-advocacy. Another source of ideas for the creation of the SOP can be forms from other states such as Oklahoma and Connecticut, or the SOP form that was developed by the 2005 National Transition Summit.

Disability Disclosure

Whether or not to disclose one’s disability, and how, can be one of the most difficult choices an adult with disabilities will face, as well as one of the most important and most basic. This choice needs to be made repeatedly throughout adulthood, not only in the worlds of education, employment, and civic life, where laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 apply, but also in the private worlds of friends and family. Beyond the decision of whether to disclose at all are differentiated decisions such as, “What will I tell my friend that I won’t tell my teammate?”, “What will I share with my employers but not my co-workers?”, or “What will I reveal on a first date, versus a third?” These are individual decisions, and there is no right or wrong.

That said, it is important for students to know that adults with disabilities who understand their own strengths and weaknesses, know what supports they need to be successful, and can advocate for their own needs are likely to have better outcomes than those who do not.[24] Educators and families striving to promote student self-determination should carefully consider how best to assist students in thinking through this highly personal decision. One helpful resource is The 411 on Disability Disclosure from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability, http://www.ncwd-youth.info/.

Family Engagement and Cultural Reciprocity

Students themselves, along with their families, can be key partners in the student’s effort to become self-determined, and it is essential that educators and families cultivate regular, two-way, and culturally proficient communication. Families have business and recreation networks in the local community, which can be leveraged to provide multiple real-world chances to practice self-determination skills, from yes-no choices to the working-out of complex ethical problems, from accomplishing tasks in a classroom and chores at home to carrying out the multiple responsibilities of paid employment. Families have deep knowledge of their children that spans many years and situations, and they can provide vital insights into the student’s developmental trajectory, strengths, needs, and ambitions.

Sometimes when discussing the future, students and parents disagree. It is important that educators listen carefully to both the student and the family, seeking a thorough understanding of their intentions, values, hopes, and expectations as a family system. Only then can educators move forward in the middle ground to address the core expectations of both student and family. Deference is always given to the student’s voice during the transition years, when students are aged 14-22. If – as is most often the case – students are their own guardians once they have reached the age of majority (18 years of age in Massachusetts), their voice takes precedence over that of the family.

One area that can be challenging for both educators and families is supporting students to develop self-advocacy skills. Self-advocacy comprises a set of skills that includes the ability to understand one’s own needs and wants, and to express these effectively so as to make change happen. The key importance of self-advocacy skills in the adult arenas of postsecondary education, employment, and independent living is well documented in the research literature. Since the first steps in the process of learning to self-advocate sometimes look like “bad behavior,” educators and families can discover and acknowledge the intention behind the behavior and then help the student to shape it into more appropriate and effective forms. For example, a student who swears may be telegraphing her desire to be treated like an adult. A student who throws a tantrum may be trying to ensure his thoughts are taken seriously. Guidance on different ways to communicate strong emotions, as well as opportunities to practice, can help young people to self-regulate and become effective self-advocates.

Families support their children with enormous love and energy. One challenge educators and students may experience in communicating with families around self-determination may be that part of parental love which wants to keep children safe. As children grow up, it can sometimes be hard to imagine that they might become independent, and families may fear the steps and mis-steps their children will take on the road to goal-setting and self-advocacy. School professionals need to be mindful of these feelings and negotiate this difficult conversational terrain with sensitivity.

Another source of misunderstanding can be culturally different expectations of adult outcomes. Each person’s background can shape his or her imagination of what a successful adulthood might look like. Educators are encouraged to strive for a stance of “cultural reciprocity,” with both students and families.[25] This stance can be described as a two-way process in which students and families share their cultural norms and expectations with school professionals, and in turn school professionals share theirs with families and students. Sometimes educators may not think of the laws and procedures of schools and special education as a “culture.” Laws and procedures, however, are the products of the personal and collective histories of the framers. They are part of our state and national culture, and can sometimes be unfamiliar to families of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Adopting a mindset of cultural reciprocity – of recognition and respect for each person’s culture and each person’s expectations – can help school professionals to examine their own values and assumptions, to listen to families and students with increased insight, and to exchange information in a mutually appreciative way. This gives all parties tools to navigate the special education process with greater understanding.

Conclusion

Many factors contribute to the adult success of our Commonwealth’s students. One of these is students’ ability to know themselves, know how to interact effectively with others in multiple environments, and know how to purposefully set goals and attain them – in other words, students’ ability to be “causal agents in their own lives.”[26] Well-developed self-determination skills play an integral role in college and career readiness, and self-determined students play a central role in their own secondary transition process. Together, educators, students, and families can partner to support the development of student self-determination skills in order to promote positive postsecondary outcomes.

Selected Resources[27]

  1. References

    See, for example, Massachusetts Guide for Implementing Individual Learning Plans (ILP); Massachusetts Definition of College and Career Readiness; Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2013-1: Postsecondary Goals and Annual IEP Goals in the Transition Planning Process; Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-4: Transition Assessment in the Secondary Transition Planning Process

  2. 20 USC §1400(d)(1)(A)
  3. http://www.mass.edu/library/documents/2013College&CareerReadinessDefinition.pdf
  4. See, for example, P21 Framework Definitions from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills
  5. Field, Martin, Miller, Ward, & Wehmeyer, 1998, p. 2, as cited in Wehmeyer, M. L., & Webb, K. W. (Eds.). (2012). Providing transition education to a diverse student population. In Handbook of adolescent transition education for youth with disabilities. (1st ed.). (p. 278-294). New York, NY: Routledge, p.287.
  6. Wehmeyer, M. L. (2007). Overview of self-determination and self-determined learning. In Promoting self-determination in students with developmental disabilities. (1st ed.). (pp. 3 – 16). New York, NY: The Guilford Press, p. 7.
  7. See, for example, Massachusetts Guide for Implementing Individual Learning Plans (ILP) ; Solberg, V. S., Wills, J., Redmond, K., & Skaff, L. (2014). Use of Individualized Learning Plans: A Promising Practice for Driving College and Career Readiness Efforts. Retrieved from National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability website: http://www.ncwd-youth.info/use-of-individualized-learning-plans; Test, D.W., Fowler, C.H., & Kohler, P. (2013). Evidence-based practices and predictors in secondary transition: What we know and what we still need to know. Retrieved from National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center website: http://www.nsttac.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdf/pdf/ebps/ExecsummaryPPs%20Jan2013.pdf; and McConnell, A., Martin, J., Juan, C., Hennessey, M., Terry, R., El-Kazimi, N., Pannells, T., & Willis, D. (2013). Identifying nonacademic behaviors associated with post-school employment and education. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 36(3), 174-187.
  8. Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2013-1: Postsecondary Goals and Annual IEP Goals in the Transition Planning Process
  9. See, for example, http://www.imdetermined.org/files_resources/131/core_components_of_self-determination.pdf and Wehmeyer, M.L. (2003). A functional theory of self-determination: Model overview. In M.L. Wehmeyer, B. Abery, D.E. Mithaug, & R. Stancliffe (Eds.), Theory in self-determination: Foundations for educational practice (pp. 182-201). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publishing Co.
  10. Loman, S., Vatland, C., Strickland-Cohen, K., Horner, R., & Walker, H. (2010). Promoting self-determination: A practice guide. Retrieved from National Gateway to Self-Determination website: http://ngsd.org/sites/default/files/promoting_self-determination_a_practice_guide.pdf
  11. See, for example, Massachusetts Guide for Implementing Individual Learning Plans (ILP), http://www.doe.mass.edu/ccr/resources.html?section=tools, and Solberg, V. S., Wills, J., Redmond, K., & Skaff, L. (2014). Use of Individualized Learning Plans: A Promising Practice for Driving College and Career Readiness Efforts. Retrieved from National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability website: http://www.ncwd-youth.info/use-of-individualized-learning-plans
  12. See, for example, http://www.mass.gov/dppc/abuse-recognize/risk-factors.html
  13. See, for example, Morgan, E., Salomon, N., Plotkin, M., & Cohen, R. (2014). The school discipline consensus report: Strategies from the field to keep students engaged in school and out of the juvenile justice system. Retrieved from The Council of State Governments Justice Center website: https://csgjusticecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/The_School_Discipline_Consensus_Report.pdf
  14. 20 USC §1400(c)(5)(A)(ii)
  15. See, for example, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, February 28). School Connectedness. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/protective/connectedness.htm
  16. http://www.doe.mass.edu/bullying/SELguide.pdf#search=%22guidelines%22
  17. http://www.pbis.org/
  18. Massachusetts Guide for Implementing Individual Learning Plans (ILP), p. 2.
  19. http://www.skillslibrary.com/wbl.htm and http://skillspages.com/masswbl/
  20. See Massachusetts Career Development Education Guide/Glossary
  21. Resources are provided as suggestions only. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not control, endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of the information expressed in these resources. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the Department.
  22. Resources are provided as suggestions only. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not control, endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of the information expressed on this website. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the Department.
  23. 34 CFR § 300.305(e)(3)
  24. See, for example, McConnell, A., Martin, J., Juan, C., Hennessey, M., Terry, R., El-Kazimi, N., Pannells, T., & Willis, D. (2013). Identifying nonacademic behaviors associated with post-school employment and education. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 36(3), 174-187 and Evidence-based practices and predictors in secondary transition: What we know and what we still need to know. Retrieved from National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center website: http://www.nsttac.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdf/pdf/ebps/ExecsummaryPPs%20Jan2013.pdf
  25. Leake, D., & Black, R. (2005). Essential tools: Cultural and linguistic diversity: Implications for transition personnel. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration, National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. Retrieved from National Center on Secondary Education and Transition website, http://www.ncset.org/publications/essentialtools/diversity/EssentialTools_Diversity.pdf. See also Kalyanpur, M., & Harry, B. (2012). Cultural reciprocity in special education: Building family-professional relationships. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Pub. Co.
  26. Wehmeyer, M. L. (2007). Overview of self-determination and self-determined learning. In Promoting self-determination in students with developmental disabilities. (1st ed.). (pp. 3 – 16). New York, NY: The Guilford Press, p. 7.
  27. Resources are provided as suggestions only. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not control, endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of the information expressed in these resources. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the Department.

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