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AIR Self-Determination Scale

The American Institutes for Research (AIR), in collaboration with Teacher’s College of Columbia University in New York City, developed the AIR Self-Determination Assessments, which include student, parent, and educator versions.


The AIR Self-Determination Scale provides the following outcomes: profile of the student’s level of self-determination; areas of strength and areas needing improvement; and specific educational goals that can be incorporated into the student’s IEP.

There are two broad self-determination components: capacity and opportunity. Capacity refers to the student’s knowledge, abilities, and perceptions that enable him or her to be self-determined. Opportunity refers to the student’s chances to use those knowledge and abilities. The scale measures three components of self-determination: thinking, doing, and adjusting. The total Level of Self-Determination score is reported as a percentage. The scores for capacity and opportunity, rated on a Likert system, may be compared to determine relative strengths and weaknesses.

The User Guide (Wolman, Campeau, Dubois, Mithaug, & Stolarski, 1994) provides some curriculum suggestions for activities to address the student’s needs. The goals and objectives may be included in the student IEP. This assessment is used for students from kindergarten through grade 12.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
AIR Self- Determination Scale and User Guide Wolman, Campeau, DuBois, Mithaug, & Stolarski (1994) 8–adult

Individualized assessment through use of a rating scale with three forms: educator, student, and parent; 5-point Likert-type scale rates students and environments on self- determination components

Related curriculum guide provided

Self- determination score is a percentage; scores for capacity and opportunity are a total of the Likert scores; scores from different raters may be compared
Not specified

Measures Capacity (ability, knowledge, and perceptions) and Opportunity related to three components of self-determination: thinking, doing, and adjusting

Availability: American Institutes for Research; download for free from

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