School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Angela M Smith


College and Career Readiness, Dropout Prevention, High School Dropouts, High School Graduation, Self-Determination, Students with Disabilities


Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership


A significant gap exists between the graduation rate of students with disabilities and their nondisabled. The purpose of this quantitative correlation study was to determine the relationship self-determination had on college and career readiness using ACT scores of students with high incident disabilities. This study was guided by the following questions: (a) Is there a relationship between AIR Self-Determination Scale scores and ACT scores? (b) Is there a relationship between students’ capacity subscale scores on the AIR Self-Determination Scale and ACT scores? A convenient sample of thirty, twelfth grade students with disabilities in two suburban public high schools in the Lowcountry of South Carolina completed the pencil-paper form of the AIR Self-Determination Scale which was compared to their composite scores from The ACT. The correlation between self-determination and college and career readiness was analyzed using the Spearman’s rho to compare the raw scores from the American Institute for Research Self-Determination Scale and The ACT. Results from this study revealed no significant relationship between the American Institute for Research Self-Determination Scale scores and The ACT scores. No significant relationship was found between students’ self-determination capacity subscale and ACT composite scores. The results have important implications for school managers to provide students with disabilities additional access to curricular and strategies to become college and career ready. Future studies should include a larger sample size for broader generalization and should employ a mixed methods approach to offer both statistically significant quantitative data and qualitative data.