Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric S. Glover

Committee Members

James H. Lampley, Lori Meier, Pamela H. Scott


This study investigated the capacity of a self-advocacy curriculum implemented in Tennessee suggested components that make up the conceptual framework of self-determination curriculum, (2) school-wide intervention had occurred, (3) self-determination goals were included in individualized education programs (IEPs) and transition plans, and (4) there was awareness of the curriculum capacity among Tennessee educators.

This study employed descriptive and comparative statistical methods to establish assumptions regarding the curriculum's effectiveness. Educators were grouped based on their teaching role (i.e., special education, regular education, and administration) and whether or not they received training and technical assistance from the University of Tennessee's Center on Disability and Employment. An on-line survey provided data necessary to determine educators' perceptions of the curriculum's capacity to provide students opportunities to learn and practice self-advocacy skills. Seven major findings evaluated the Self-Determination and Career Planning Model as evidence-based.

  • Educators agreed the curriculum helped students demonstrate self-advocacy skills.
  • Educators who received training to implement the self-advocacy curriculum were better prepared to observe students' demonstration of self-advocacy skills.
  • Self-advocacy goals were included in IEPs and transition plans.
  • Attendance at IEP meetings did not bias educators' opinions of students' skills.
  • The self-advocacy curriculum contained 4 recommended curriculum dimensions.
  • Tennessee educators have a high awareness of self-determination curriculum capacity.
  • Educators indicated an increase in student IEP participation.

These findings evaluated the Self-Determination and Career Planning Model as evidence-based. Suggested curriculum improvements should be implemented and accountability of school districts to implement the curriculum should be communicated to all educators.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.