College of Education

Illinois Center for Transition and Work

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What is self-determination?

Numerous self-determination definitions exist, and each defines self-determination a bit differently depending on the definition’s theoretical origins. Self-determination skills may be best defined by describing what a self-determined person does. Self-determined individuals make choices, set goals, develop plans to attain their goals, take action to implement the plans, solve problems, evaluate progress, and make adjustments as needed to attain their goals (Rowe et al., 2015; Wehmeyer et al., 2000).  When students develop self-determination skills, they are able to take an active role in identifying career interests, assessing their work skills, and establishing goals for employment. These skills are essential to helping students assume an active role in driving the transition services they receive to prepare for employment.

Self-determination webinars

Self-determination fact sheets