Nicole Ditchman

  • Associate Professor of Psychology

Nicole Ditchman is an associate professor and core faculty member in the Division of Counseling and Rehabilitation Science. She joined Illinois Tech in 2010 and teaches courses in human growth, career development, job placement, assessment, positive psychology and teaching & curriculum development. She also supervises master’s and doctoral students during counseling, teaching and research experiences.

Ditchman received her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin­-Madison in 2010 and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Illinois. She has over 15 years of experience working, conducting research, and training in the field of rehabilitation and mental health counseling, and adheres to a strengths-based, person-centered approach to the delivery of services to individuals from diverse circumstances experiencing disability.  

Ditchman’s research interests focus on factors impacting community participation and well-being for people with disabilities, with an emphasis on transition-­age youth with disabilities, as well as the application of positive psychology in rehabilitation and mental health counseling. She has published over 60 peer-­reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has been successful in obtaining and managing federally-funded research and training grants. Ditchman is the recipient of five research paper awards from the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA) and was awarded Illinois Tech’s Department of Psychology Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013 and 2022.


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

  • School-to-work transition for youth with disabilities
  • Community participation and engagement outcomes for individuals with disabilities
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Sense of community, belonging, and social inclusion
  • Positive psychology
  • Health promotion for people with chronic illness and disability


Ditchman, N., Thomas, J. A., Johnson, K., Haak, C., & Rafajko, S.  (2022). The impact of employment on quality of life for adults with brain injury. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, (Preprint), 1-15. doi: 10.3233/JVR-211168

Dutta, A., Kundu, M., Iwanaga, K., Ditchman, N., & Chan, F. (2020). Transition engagement of African American youth with disabilities: A serial mediation model. Exceptional Children, 86, 273-292.

Lee, E., Ditchman, N., Thomas, J., & Tsen, J. (2019). Microaggressions experienced by people with Multiple Sclerosis in the workplace: An exploratory study using Sue’s taxonomy. Rehabilitation Psychology, 64(2), 179-193.

Ditchman, N., Miller, J. L., & Easton, A. (2018). Vocational rehabilitation service patterns: An application of network analysis to examine employment outcomes of transition-age individuals with Autism. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 61, 143-153.

Ditchman, N., Easton, A., Batchos, E., Rafjako, E., & Shah, N. (2017). The impact of culture on attitudes toward the sexuality of people with intellectual disabilities.Sexuality & Disability, 35, 245-260.

Ditchman, N., Chan, F., Haak, C., & Easton, A. B. (2017). Factors impacting sense of community among adults with brain injury. Rehabilitation Psychology, 62, 130-142.

Ditchman, N., Keegan, J., Batchos, E., Haak, C. L., & Johnson, K. S. (2016). Sense of community and its impact on the life satisfaction of adults with brain injury. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 60, 239-252.

Ditchman, N., Sheehan, L., Rafajko, S., Haak, C., & Kazukauskas, K. (2016). Predictors of social integration for individuals with brain injury: An application of the ICF model. Brain Injury, 30, 1581-1589.

Keegan, J., Ditchman, N., Dutta, A., Chiu, C-Y., Muller, V., …  Kundu, M. (2016). Social cognitive and planned behavior variables associated with stages of change for physical activity in spinal cord injury: A multivariate analysis. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, & Education, 30, 89-106.

Lee, E., Ditchman, N., Fong, M. W., & Piper, L. (2014). Mental health service seeking among Korean international students in the United States: A path analysis. Journal of Community Psychology, 42, 639-655.

Wehman, P., Chan, F., Ditchman, N., & Kang. H. (2014). Effect of supported employment on vocational rehabilitation outcomes of transition-age youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities: A case control study. Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, 52, 296-310.

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.

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.