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Lifelong Learning: Burnett Seminar for Academic Achievement

Stay tuned – the 2014 Burnett Seminar will be announced in the fall. View the 2013 Burnett Seminar online.

2013 Burnett Seminar

The 12th Timothy B. and Jane A. Burnett Seminar for Academic Achievement

Looking Forward, Living Now: A Self-Determined Approach to Success in High School, College and Beyond for Young Adults with ADHD/LD

Keynote Speaker: Sharon L. Field, Ed.D.
Dr. Field’s PowerPoint slides from Nov. 19. 

Watch the seminar on the UNC Learning Center’s YouTube channel.


FieldLooking forward, living now… What does it mean to lead a successful life, or specifically, to be successful in high school and in college? Is it all about test scores and getting a job, or is there something more?

This seminar will focus on the science and art of self-determination – the ability to explore dreams, define goals and action plans, and be in charge of one’s life. Taking a self-determined approach to success helps us identify and achieve what we want in life. It is the process through which we can become the unique individuals we want to be. Research has demonstrated that increased self-determination is linked to success in college and in life. Sharon L. Field, Ed.D, is the co-director of the Initiative for Self-Determination in the College of Education at Wayne State University. Dr. Field’s presentation will focus on five key steps in the self-determination process, including:

  • Know yourself and your environment
  • Value yourself
  • Plan
  • Act
  • Experience outcomes and learn

Specific strategies for implementing these steps in a high school or college setting will be shared along with specific ideas on what parents and professionals can do to promote the development of self-determination skills in young adults with ADHD/LD.

Sharon Field, Ed.D. is Co-Director of the Initiative for Self-Determination in the College of Education at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She has been conducting research and development related to self-determination for students, with and without disabilities, for the past 25 years.

Field served as Professor (Clinical) of Educational Leadership at Wayne State from 2006-2010 and as Associate Dean for Research from 2010-2012. She earned her Ed.D. in Education Policy, Governance and Administration from the University of Washington and her M.S.Ed. in Special Education (emphasis in Learning Disabilities) from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her areas of specialization include self-determination, transition, and applied positive psychology practices.

Field has directed several federally funded self-determination projects. Through these efforts she developed, with Dr. Alan Hoffman, a model of self-determination and the Steps to Self-Determination curriculum, now in its second edition. With Drs. Alan Hoffman and Shlomo Sawilowsky, she created a web-based self-determination assessment battery. Field is author or co-author of numerous books, chapters and journal articles related to self-determination, including with Michael Wehmeyer, Instructional and Assessment Strategies to Promote the Self-Determination of Students with Disabilities and, with David Parker and Alan Hoffman, Self-Determination Strategies for Adolescents in Transition: Learning from Case Studies. She served as lead author of A Practical Guide to Teaching Self-determination and co-author of Transition from School to Life, both published by the Council for Exceptional Children. Field was a consultant to the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities in the development of their “Bridges” transition program for high school aged youth. She also served as president of the Division on Career Development and Transition, Council for Exceptional Children. She has direct service experience as a special education teacher, job placement specialist and administrator.

Field’s most recent work has focused on studying the effects of academic coaching on college success factors for students with ADHD in college and university settings, the application of positive psychology practices in education and development of strategies for supporting the self-determination of parents and teachers. 

Sponsored by the Learning Center’s ADHD/LD Services — a Learning Center Program in the College of Arts and Sciences — and the UNC General Alumni Association.

Visit learningcenter.unc.edu for information about the UNC Learning Center programs.