Nicole Ditchman

  • Associate Professor of Psychology

Nicole Ditchman is an associate professor of rehabilitation and mental health counseling in the Department of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology. She teaches graduate level courses in counseling techniques, job placement and assessment. She also supervises master's degree students during counseling practicum and internship experiences.

Ditchman received her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010 and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Illinois. The transition from school to adult life for youth with disabilities has been a central focus of her professional and training experiences. Ditchman has been employed as a manager of a community-based high school transition program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has worked in a therapeutic school setting to provide therapy to students with autism and their families, and has experience providing counseling to adolescents in an intensive mental health facility for incarcerated youth. Ditchman has pursued professional and research experiences in effort to better understand myriad factors affecting quality of life and successful outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities.

Ditchman has experience working as a research assistant on a three-year IES-NCSER funded project aimed at increasing summer employment outcomes for youth with disabilities and has over twenty peer-reviewed publications.


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (2010)
M.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2005)
B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2003)

Research Interests

Assessing meaningful community engagement

School-to-work transition for youth with disabilities

Community participation outcomes for individuals with cognitive disabilities

Factors that contribute to sense of community, belonging, and reciprocity in social relationships

Wellness and positive psychology


Carter, E. W., Ditchman, N., Sun, Y., Trainor, A. A., Swedeen, B., & Owens, L. (2010). Summer employment and community experiences of transition-age youth with severe disabilities. Exceptional Children, 76,194-212.

Carter, E.W., Trainor, A.A., Ditchman, N., Swedeen, B., & Owens, L. (2009). Evaluation of a multi-component intervention package to increase summer work experiences for transition-age youth with severe disabilities.Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 34, 1-12.

Chou, C.C., Ditchman, N., Pruett, S.R., Chan, F. & Hunter, C. (2009). Applications of social cognitive theory in psychosocial interventions. In F. Chan, E. Cardoso, & J. Chronister (Eds.), Psychosocial interventions for people with chronic illness and disability: A Handbook for evidence-based rehabilitation health professionals (pp. 243-276). New York: Springer.

Ditchman, N., Werner, S., Kosyluk, K., Jones, N., Elg, B. & Corrigan, P. W. (2013). Stigma and intellectual disability: Potential application of mental illness research. Rehabilitation Psychology, 58, 206-216. doi: 10.1037/a0032466

Ditchman, N., Wu, M., Chan, F., Fitzgerald, S., & Tu, W. (2013). Vocational rehabilitation. In D. Strauser (Ed.), Career development, employment, and disability in rehabilitation: From theory to practice (pp. 343-360). New York: Springer Publishing Company.