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Preparing Students for Postsecondary Education

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Preparing Students for Postsecondary Education

  1. 1. Students with disabilities are increasing- ly enrolled in postsecondary education, yet many of them are not prepared to cope with the rigor of higher education. Students who do not have the skills of self-empowerment often experience frustration and discouragement in the postsecondary setting, leading to their dropping out of school and eventually experiencing less positive outcomes. At the same time, many higher education faculty members are not aware of how to work with students with disabilities, nor are they familiar with policies relat- ed to student rights and accommoda- tions. There are some practical strate- gies for faculty, as well as K–12 teach- ers, to help students with and without disabilities develop skills of self-advoca- cy, self-regulation, internal locus of con- trol, and self-knowledge—so they can become empowered to take responsibil- ity for their own learning. According to the 2006 National Longi- tudinal Transition Study (Wagner, New- man, Cameto, Levine, & Garza, 2006), the percentage of students with disabil- ities completing high school increased by 17% between 1987 and 2003, with a corresponding 32% increase in enroll- ment in some kind of postsecondary schools (National Council on Disability, 2003; Wagner et al.). However, more than half of these students are at risk of failure (Jones, 2002; National Council on Disability, 2003). The National Council on Disability (2004) reports that one of the major reasons for this high dropout rate is that university students with disabilities are not prepared to cope with the rigor of postsecondary education. Support services for transi- tion between secondary schools and higher education are often fragmented and inconsistent in helping students develop requisite skills for postsec- ondary education (Dukes & Shaw, 1999; Izzo, Hertzfeld, & Aaron, 2001; National Council on Disability, 2004; Stodden, Jones & Chang, 2002). In addition, there is a lack of collaboration at the higher education level between faculty and an institution’s office of student services when it comes to providing services to help prepare students for disability- related challenges they may encounter in the postsecondary setting (Hitchings et al., 2001; Izzo et al.; National Council on Disability, 2004; Sitlington, Clark, & Kolstoe, 2000). Support services for transition between secondary schools and higher education are often fragmented and inconsistent in helping students develop requisite skills for postsecondary education. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires students with disabili- ties to disclose their disabilities to their 32 ■ COUNCIL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN TEACHINGExceptionalChildren,Vol.40,No.1,pp.32-38.Copyright2007CEC. Preparing Students for Postsecondary Education Barbara S. S. Hong W. Fred Ivy Humberto R. Gonzalez Wendy Ehrensberger
  2. 2. institution if they wish to receive rea- sonable accommodations. In postsec- ondary education, classroom accommo- dations are described as “appropriate academic adjustments” (104.44(e)(a)). Many higher education faculty have not worked with people with disabilities, and have received little preparation in meeting their needs (National Council on Disability, 2003). When students with disabilities do disclose their dis- abilities, oftentimes faculty members simply do not have sufficient knowl- edge to assist them. In fact, many par- ents, students, faculty, and high school counselors themselves are not aware of the policy differences for students with disabilities in terms of rights, services, and funding as a result of IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports, NCSPES, 2002; Stodden, Conway, & Chang, 2003). It is not unusual for faculty members to believe that students with disabilities accepted into a university program must have met the same admission require- ments as all other students and should have the skills to function and compete on the same playing field. In fact, stu- dents with disabilities often feel inse- cure when they leave the traditional classroom setting to enter higher educa- tion (Hitchings et al., 2001; National Council on Disability, 2004). Instruction is at a faster pace, coursework requires more reading, assignments demand higher-order thinking, writing is more technical, and study habits call for more independent problem solving and self- strategizing (Rosenbaum, 2004). Above all, contact with the instructor is drasti- cally reduced. All these factors combine to create barriers and frustrations for students who are not prepared or who have not acquired sufficient self-regula- tion skills (National Council on Dis- ability, 2003). Students with disabilities often feel insecure when they leave the traditional classroom setting to enter higher education. Currently, much concern is expressed about students with disabili- ties exiting high school with less posi- tive outcomes (NCSPES, 2002; National Council on Disability, 2003; Wagner et al., 2006), and our attention is focused on raising standards, hiring more quali- fied teachers, and holding schools more accountable. However, what seems to have been neglected is helping students with disabilities develop vital skills that will enhance their prospect of success in their next endeavor (Hicks-Coolick & Kurtz, 1997; Milsom & Hartley, 2005; Wehmeyer, 1996). This is particularly imperative for students who decide to pursue postsecondary education. Studies (Izzo & Lamb, 2002; Lamb, 2002; NCSPES, 2002; Wagner et al.) have revealed that many students with disabilities enter college not knowing how to communicate their needs (self- advocacy); how to evaluate their own performance (self-regulation); what it means to have a sense of control (locus of control); and their own strengths, interests, and limitations (self-knowl- edge). In short, they are not self-deter- mined. Table 1 lists the essential com- ponents of self-empowerment (cf. Wehmeyer, 1995). The term self-determination is often used interchangeably with self-empow- erment. Martin and Marshall (1995) characterized people who are self-deter- mined as those who: Know how to choose—they know what they want and how to get it. From an awareness of personal needs, self-determined individu- als choose goals, and then doggedly pursue them. This involves asserting an individual’s presence, making his or her needs known, evaluating progress toward meeting goals, adjusting performance, and creating unique approaches to solve problems. (p. 147) Both of these terms describe someone who has developed a combination of attitudes and abilities to set goals, make decisions, problem-solve, self-advocate, self-evaluate, and adjust in order to TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN ■ SEPT/OCT 2007 ■ 33 Table 1. Essential Components of Self-Empowerment Self-Advocacy Self-Regulation Internal Locus of Control Self-Knowledge ✓ Personal autonomy ✓ Choice indicating preferences ✓ Choice as a decision- making process ✓ Choice as an expression of autonomy and dignity ✓ Self-management ✓ Self-care ✓ Recreational and social management ✓ Goal setting and attainment ✓ Problem identification, problem expectation, problem resolution, problem solving ✓ Self-observation ✓ Self-management ✓ Self-monitoring; self-evaluation ✓ Self-instruction ✓ Self-reinforcement ✓ Positive attribution of efficacy ✓ Outcome-expectation ✓ Efficacy-expectation ✓ Self-awareness ✓ Self-belief
  3. 3. achieve his or her goals. (See box, “Attributes of a Self-Empowered Indi- vidual”; cf. Field, Martin, Miller, Ward, and Wehmeyer, 1998.) Students with disabilities who have not developed adequate skills of self- empowerment are less lightly to be suc- cessful in the postsecondary setting (National Council on Disability, 2003). Hence, it is imperative that faculty and K–12 teachers are knowledgeable about strategies for empowering students. These suggestions are beneficial not only for students with disabilities, but also for all students. Instructors (higher education faculty as well as K–12 teach- ers) first need to understand the com- mon challenges students with disabili- ties face and how these difficulties cor- relate to subsequent ability to cope with the demands of higher education. This article presents certain fundamental pedagogical principles for maximizing student engagement in learning, whether in public schools or higher education setting, and provides some practical approaches for supporting and facilitating self-empowerment of stu- dents with disabilities. Student Capability and Demands of Higher Education Whether in higher education or the K–12 setting, students are expected to perform multitask responsibilities such as participating in class discussions, paying attention to lectures, taking and organizing notes, synthesizing new information, staying focused, and responding to instructor inquiries. For many students with disabilities, multi- tasking can be extremely challenging and expecting them to do so is unrealis- tic. When students discover there is a problem in their learning or comprehen- sion, they often do not know how to “fix” it. They cannot identify the prob- lem (self-regulation), determine what kind of help they need (self-knowl- edge), or identify where to obtain help (self-advocacy). Over time, these stu- dents become discouraged and frustrat- ed and lose confidence in themselves (internal locus of control). In order to help these students develop adequate skills of self-empowerment, instructors must understand four common areas of difficulty many students with disabili- ties encounter, sometimes on a daily basis (see Table 2). In terms of cognitive ability, students with disabilities generally are passive learners (Rosenbaum, 2004); they do not take initiative or actively strategize learning habits that would help them become successful. They tend to experi- ence high levels of attention difficulties, easily wander off task, and have a hard time distinguishing pertinent informa- tion from irrelevant data to enhance content understanding. The problem of passive learning is compounded by the fact that many of these students enter higher education with reading skills at least three grades below their last grade level (Sabornie & deBettencourt, 2004). Many students do not see how attend- ing class, paying attention to lectures, doing assignments, and reading the text can have an effect on the outcome of the course (Rosenbaum). Given these challenges, it’s no wonder so many stu- dents with disabilities struggle to meet high demands for content literacy, in- depth analysis, critical synthesis, and evaluative reading and writing assign- ments. Pedagogical Principles for Maximizing Student Learning It is not uncommon for many faculty or K–12 teachers to be unaware of or be unable to articulate best practices when it comes to maximizing student learn- ing. In order to determine what accom- modation a student with a disability needs and when appropriate and rea- sonable assistance should be offered, instructors must first be aware of the student’s specific learning aptitudes and attributes. Instructors can ask these three essential questions to gauge whether the student’s academic adjust- ments are necessary and appropriate: ✓ To what extent can this student meet the demands of the specific task (prerequisite skills, knowledge of content, and clarity of direction)? ✓ What is the student’s current level of specific learning abilities to per- form the task? Does the student understand what is being taught and is he or she able to use that knowledge to perform the task? 34 ■ COUNCIL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN Attributes of a Self-Empowered Individual • Knows how to differentiate one’s wants and needs. • Makes choices based on one's preferences, interests, strengths, and limitations. • Sets goals and works toward goals. • Considers options and anticipates consequences because of one’s decision. • Assumes responsibility for positive and negative outcomes. • Uses effective communication skills. • Evaluates one’s decisions based on outcomes of previous decisions. • Revises future decisions/plans/goals based on previous outcomes. • Strives for independence while recognizing one’s interdependence with others. • Uses self-advocacy skills. • Is self-confident, persistent, and creative.
  4. 4. ✓ What is the student’s current func- tioning level in strategies for learn- ing the task? Does the student know how to go about studying or mas- tering the content knowledge neces- sary to complete the task? One of the most critical components in facilitating student self-empower- ment skills is to create a learning envi- ronment where there is an optimal amount of support and opportunity for all learners, regardless of disability. Carlson’s (1980) several general princi- ples of learning and motivation have been widely used by many practitioners in creating such an environment. Carlson suggests that once open and honest communication is established, learning should be made meaningful so that students can relate what they are learning to their background experience and prior knowledge. Instructors should be knowledgeable about specific prereq- uisite skills and knowledge before beginning instruction or scheduling assignments. During lesson presenta- tions, instructors should model the process of formulating specific ques- tions, which will assist students in the development of proactive learning habits. Carlson stresses creating an environment that encourages students’ active participation in class discussions and group activities. Instructors should be mindful of the pace of instruction when introducing new concepts and assessing student understanding of those concepts. Instructors can increase students’ attention and motivation to learn by employing novel ideas in lec- tures, course activities, and assign- TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN ■ SEPT/OCT 2007 ■ 35 Table 2. Student Challenges and Impacts Students with . . . Are less likely to . . . Are more likely to . . . Poor problem-solving skills • Create and apply strategies to problem situations • Ask questions to resolve concerns • Advocate for own needs in order to solve problematic situations • Seek assistance from peers • Initiate learning groups Accept what is being offered, even though services or instruction may not be appropriate, sufficient, or correctly delivered Poor evaluation skills • Consider prerequisite skills before attempting a task • Be aware of their own limitations and capabilities in handling various tasks • Set goals or have realistic expectations • Understand how to manage tasks (e.g., carrying more credits than one can manage) • Employ strategies to determine own progress • Recognize own improvement or lack of progress Rely on others to evaluate how they are performing Poor monitoring skills • Ask questions or recognize own lack of understanding • Apply error-monitoring strategies to tasks • Use rehearsal strategies to learn content • Develop the steady study skills and learning habits needed to perform higher-order-level tasks • Reinforce or challenge self to make progress • Adjust goals, strategies, or situations to improve self Lack self-control, self- discipline, and self- management Poor communication skills • Verbalize own needs • Develop effective speaking, negotiating, and conversational skills • Volunteer to lead a discussion, share different points of view, or inquire further for deeper understanding • Know “who” they are and their own preferences, beliefs, and thoughts • Be confident in themselves • Take on leadership roles • Be creative • Be persistent in pursuing questions not understood Let others direct their lives
  5. 5. 36 ■ COUNCIL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN Table 3. Strategies for Empowering Students Help students obtain timely and appropriate services • Provide pertinent and timely information (e.g., syllabus, textbook title, test dates, criteria for course completion, rubrics) to enable students to request needed services/accommodations (e.g., reader, note taker, scribe, sign language interpreter, extended time, Braille embosser, software speech synthesizer, tape recorder, other assistive technology). • Help students understand their responsibilities to identify what services are provided at the institution and to request accommodations at the beginning of the term. (Providing them pertinent information before the course begins gives students enough time to obtain materials or arrange services.) • Respect student confidentiality rights and nondisclosure; do not discuss their disabilities and accommodations with other instructors or students. • Do not discourage students from participating in any course activity or assignment due to a lack of services. • Encourage students to advocate for their right to reasonable accommodation. Model how to effectively communicate needs to instructors and student services. Plan instruction that develops self- regulatory behaviors • Be consistent and clear about what is expected of students for individual assignments, assignment deadlines, and the grading of individual assignments. Specify standards for assessing assignments via rubrics to permit students to better understand how their work is measured and whether they are meeting expectations. Provide examples of past assignments that met target expectations and those that did not so students have a better idea of what is expected. Help students understand that all student coursework is graded by the same measures, but that the instructor is available to assist them. • Be flexible. Within set guidelines, allow students to meet course requirements via alternate modes of presentation or to make up work, instead of rigidly sticking to the original syllabus. This helps students to solve their own problems, generate realistic options, anticipate consequences for their decisions, and develop a sense of self-efficacy. • Divide complicated assignments into smaller units, so that students can monitor their progress. • Encourage students to participate; do not penalize those who are not comfortable speaking out in class. Provide students ample opportunities to learn how to verbalize their thoughts, express their opinions, share their perspectives, and defend their ideas. • Utilize case studies and experiential learning relevant to student backgrounds, training, and interests so they can meaningfully relate what they are learning to what they already know. Students learn to use self-instruction and self-directing techniques to regulate their own learning. • Never make students feel they are not capable of making decisions because of their disability. Create opportunities that encourage students to choose when, how, where, and with whom they will complete an activity. • Allow room for trial and error during guided practice and before an assignment is taken home or is due. • Address student grievances, confusion, and conflicts. Students may not know how to resolve their school problems, what questions are considered appropriate, or how an instructor will react to their concerns. Students may not want to voice an opinion for fear of jeopardizing their grade. Integrate essential study and learning skills • Acknowledge students’ successful strategies in memorizing, reading, analyzing, and answering questions, and help them generalize and transfer these strategies to another course or activity. Encourage students to share successful strategies so that everyone can examine alternative ways to approach a task. This not only helps students learn to take constructive feedback from others, but also enables them to verbalize what works and what does not work in their own learning habits. • Provide a checklist or chart for students who need visual assistance in organizational techniques, time management, schedules, and dates for completing an assignment. • Offer to help students organize their schedule to minimize conflict with other assignments, whether in the same class or different class. Students learn to plan ahead to complete the first assignment due and to schedule their time accordingly. Help students set realistic goals, practical timelines, and reasonable procedures for monitoring their own learning. • Emphasize students' successes rather than highlighting limitations. For example, indicate the number of items the student scored correctly (6/10) versus ones scored incorrectly (–4). Percentages may not accurately give students an identifiable assessment of how they did on a test (e.g., 70% of a 10-item test versus 70% of a 50-item test). Acknowledge specific positive performance of students rather than using general remarks such as “nice job,” “good work,” or simply a letter grade. Instead, use descriptive phrases (“Your essay demonstrates the key component of organization in writing and in logical argument,” “I see improvement in your use of spell-check,” “I understand that you went to the writing lab before you handed in your work; that is a productive habit,” or “I see that you have joined a study group to prepare for the final exam; that is good initiative on your part.”). • Help students acknowledge and accept their own effort in experiencing positive outcomes (students’ hard work, good study skills, sustained attention during class, efficient management of time, regular attendance of class, keeping up with reading assignments, handing in assignments on time, and proactively participating in course activity). • Teach and model essential social skills such as how to ask questions, how to communicate with professionals and classmates, when to volunteer or participate in class activities, and how to give a different opinion without becoming defensive or argumentative.
  6. 6. ments. When giving assignments, the instructor should be sure to clarify the directions and expectations for all stu- dents. Those expectations should be realistic as well as challenging for all students. Finally, instructors can utilize multiple approaches when evaluating student learning outcomes. Multiple choice questions, written essays, group assignments, class presentations, and portfolios are all acceptable ways to evaluate student learning. When instructors utilize these principles of learning and motivation, they are creat- ing a learning environment that con- tributes to constructive learning. “Barrier-Free” Environment Federal laws mandate that higher insti- tutions provide a safe, barrier-free envi- ronment to ensure equal access for stu- dents with disabilities. Students come to college with similar needs as when they were in the public schools. Higher edu- cation faculty need to take into account the sometimes seemingly insignificant yet critical environmental needs of stu- dents in order to enhance their learning experience. Instructors cannot always determine or have any say regarding whether furnishings for students with a (physical) disability are appropriate; it is important to maintain open communi- cation with the university’s student services or public school central office to discuss possible or alternate access. Instructors should be mindful about the size of the desk, desk level, ease of writ- ing on the table, the height between the table and the student’s feet on the floor, writing space (especially for students who utilize assistive technology such as screen magnifiers, alternate keyboards or mouse-type devices), and the com- fort of the seat itself (e.g., for students who carry portable IVs or other medical supplement). Instructors should also take into account the need for extra classroom space in order to maneuver equipment such as leg braces, walking cane, crutches, wheelchairs, or special standing tables. In addition, before beginning a lesson, the instructor should consider the extra time students may need to set up their writing stylus, optical aids, magnification devices, amplification equipment, writing lap- boards, automatic page turners, laptops, and so forth. Equally important for K–12 teachers is to teach students how and when to communicate their needs (physical access, space, or time) when they are in a postsecondary setting. Federal laws mandate that higher institutions provide a safe, barrier-free environment to ensure equal access for students with disabilities. External environmental conditions that instructors must take into account when working with students with dis- abilities include appropriate lighting for students with visual impairment or those who are sensitive to light and sound, well circulated ventilation and temperature needs for students with health impairments (e.g., asthma), and easier access to the door for students who need to use the restroom frequent- ly. Students with learning difficulties often become distracted because they cannot concentrate. Particularly when working with students who have hear- ing problems or attention issues, instructors need to consider the sensi- tivity level of “white noise” from over- head projectors and other equipment, or the hallway noise from outside the classroom. Strategies for Empowering Students Instructors can significantly enhance students with disabilities’ ability to suc- ceed in postsecondary settings by focus- ing on three areas: (a) helping students to obtain timely and appropriate servic- es; (b) planning instruction which develops self-regulatory behaviors; and (c) integrating essential study and learn- ing skills into coursework. Even though most of these strategies are more rele- vant in postsecondary settings, it is equally critical for K–12 teachers to help students anticipate the demands of higher education. Table 3 provides a checklist of strategies in each of these areas. Final Thoughts With the increasing enrollment of stu- dents with disabilities in postsecondary education, there is an urgent need for higher education faculty as well as K–12 teachers to become vigilant not only about regulations and accommodations pertaining to students with disabilities but also about helping students develop the skills necessary to take responsibili- ty for their own learning. The strategies presented here are equally beneficial for students with or without disabilities. When instructors are willing and able to make an effort in promoting skills of self-empowerment, students will become more engaged in learning and more likely to be successful in school. References Carlson, N. A. (1980). General principles of learning and motivation. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 12, 60–62. Dukes, L. L., & Shaw, S. F. (1999). Post- secondary disability personnel: Profes- sional standards and staff development. Journal of Developmental Education, 23, 26–30. Field, S., Martin, J., Miller, R., Ward, M., & Wehmeyer, M. (1998). A practical guide for teaching self-determination. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children. Hicks-Coolick, A., & Kurtz, D. (1997). Preparing students with learning disabili- ties for success in postsecondary educa- tion: Needs and services. Social Work in Education, 19, 31–42. Hitchings, W. E., Luzzo, D. A., Ristow, R., Horvath, M., Retish, P., & Tanners, A. (2001). The career development needs of college students with learning disabilities: In their own words. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 16, 8–17. Izzo, M., & Lamb, M. (2002). Self-determina- tion and career development: Skills for suc- cessful transitions to postsecondary educa- tion and employment. Unpublished manu- script. Izzo, M. V., Hertzfeld, J. E., & Aaron, J. H. (2001). Raising the bar: Student self-deter- mination + good teaching = success. Journal for Vocational Special Needs Education, 24, 26–36. Jones, M. (2002). Providing a quality accom- modated experience in preparation for and during post-secondary school (Information Brief). Minneapolis, MN: National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, University of Minnesota. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 466064) TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN ■ SEPT/OCT 2007 ■ 37
  7. 7. Lamb, M. (2002). Preliminary findings on a college success class for students with dis- abilities. Honolulu, HI: National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educa- tional Supports, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Martin, J. E., & Marshall, L. H. (1995). ChoiceMaker: A comprehensive self-deter- mination transition program. Intervention in School and Clinic, 30, 147–156. Milsom, A., & Hartley, M. (2005). Assisting students with learning disabilities transi- tioning to college: What school counselors should know. Professional School Coun- seling, 8, 436–441. National Center for the Study of Post- secondary Educational Supports. (2002). Preparation for and support of youth with disabilities in postsecondary education & employment: Implications for policy, pri- orities and practice. Proceedings and briefing book for the National Summit on Postsecondary Education for People with Disabilities, Washington, DC, July 8, 2002. National Council on Disability. (2003). People with disabilities and postsecondary educa- tion (Position Paper). Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved March 22, 2007, from http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/ publications/2003/education.htm National Council on Disability. (2004). Higher Education Act fact sheet. Wash- ington, DC: Author. Retrieved September 26, 2006, from http://www.ncd.gov/ newsroom/publications/2004/pdf/ hea_factsheet.pdf Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, Pub. L. No. 93-112, 29 U.S.C. §794 (1977). Rosenbaum, J. E. (2004). It’s time to tell the kids: If you don’t do well in high school, you won’t do well in college (or on the job). American Educator, 8–15. Sabornie, E. J., & deBettencourt, L. U. (2004). Teaching students with mild and high incidence disabilities at the secondary level (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Sitlington, P. L., Clark, G. M., & Kolstoe, O. P. (2000). Transition education and services for adolescents with disabilities (3rd ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Stodden, R. A., Conway, M. A., & Chang, K. (2003). Professional employment for individuals with disabilities. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii-Manoa, Center on Disability Studies. Retrieved March 22, 2007, from http://www.ncset.hawaii. edu/institutes/feb2003/papers/txt/ PROFESSIONAL%20EMPLOYMENT%20. txt Stodden, R. A., Jones, M. A., & Chang, K. (2002). Services, supports and accommo- dations for individuals with disabilities: An analysis across secondary education, postsecondary education, and employ- ment. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii- Manoa, Center on Disability Studies. Retrieved March 22, 2007, from http:// www.ncset.hawaii.edu/publications/txt/ services_supports.txt Wagner, M., Newman, L., Cameto, R., Levine, P., & Garza, N. (2006). An overview of findings from Wave 2 of the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). Menlo Park, CA: SRI Interna- tional. Retrieved on September 27, 2006, from www.nlts2.org/reports/2006_08/ nlts2_ report_2006_08_complete. pdf Wehmeyer, M. L. (1995). The Arc’s self-deter- mination scale. Washington, DC: Depart- ment of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Wehmeyer, M. L. (1996). Self-determination as an educational outcome: Why is it important to children, youth and adults with disabilities? In D. J. Sands, & M. L. Wehmeyer (Eds.), Self-determination across the life span: Independence and choice for people with disabilities (pp. 15–34). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. Barbara S. S. Hong (CEC TX Federation), Associate Professor; W. Fred Ivy, Associate Professor; and Humberto R. Gonzalez, Dean and Associate Professor, College of Education, Texas A&M International University, Laredo. Wendy Ehrensberger (CEC NY Federation), Instructor, Dowling College, Oakdale, New York. Address correspondence to Barbara Hong, Department of Professional Programs, College of Education, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX 78041 (e-mail: bhong@tamiu.edu). TEACHING Exceptional Children, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 32–38. Copyright 2007 CEC. 38 ■ COUNCIL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN

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