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Step Forward

Step Forward
Gateway Community College/New Haven
Step Forward
20 Church St., N108
New Haven, CT 06510

The Step Forward programs at Gateway Community College offer young adults with various disabilities a two-tiered comprehensive transition program designed to enhance self-advocacy, interpersonal skills, financial literacy, study skills and work readiness. The program began in 2005 and has worked with young adults (18-21) from across the state of Connecticut.  Students work within a cohort model where they receive individualized attention. The following is a breakdown of the program components:

Step Forward I is a 10-month transition program for young adults (18-21) with mild cognitive disabilities. This noncredit certificate program focuses on interpersonal communication skills, career exploration, and workplace readiness. In addition to classroom instruction, students are placed in a community or campus-based work experience. Topics covered in the Step Forward I program include:
• Vocational exploration & career planning,
• Job search essentials,
• Financial literacy & personal finances,
• Interpersonal & workplace communications,
• Self-advocacy,
• Disability &  self-awareness,
• Nutrition & wellness.

Step Forward II is a two semester program designed for students who have successfully completed Step Forward I and are academically and socially qualified to move into an academically focused program at Gateway. This program is also open to high-functioning students who have already mastered the skills taught in year one.  Students in year II focus on the career objectives they have identified through their first year by engaging in related college coursework and internships. Students may take up to two credit bearring classes at Gateway and are required to attend additional non-credit seminars to enhance their study, time management, and organizational skills. Each student receives individualized academic and disability-related advising, as well as case management. Topics covered in the Step Forward II program  include:
• Time management
• Effective study skills
• Understanding college expectations
• Goal setting & self-advocacy in the college and work setting
• Disability awareness
• Understanding college resources and protocol
• Work readiness and career exploration
• Social skills in the college classroom, work setting and the community.

Steps Forward serves students in an age-appropriate, college environment that fosters independence and exposure to a range of educational, cultural and social experiences. Our downtown New Haven location is in a lively and engaging cultural hub that can be accessed by public transportation. 

Public or private: Public
Type of school: 2-year community college or junior college
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? No
Students in this program:
  • Have graduated or exited from high school
  • Are still enrolled in high school
Number of students: 17
School district or agency partner: We accept referrals from all school districts
Contact person: N/A
Requirements for admission to this program:
  • Student must be a resident of the state where the program is located
Accepts out-of-state students: No
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
Program length: Varies from student to student
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Percent of students applying who are admitted: 100%
Cost of the program: College tuition is separate Transportation not included
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? No
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Local School District funds
Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities):
  • Typical college courses for credit
  • Typical college courses for audit
  • Typical Continuing Education courses
More about course access:

Step Forward 2 students take non-credit support seminars tought by SF staff and up to 2 college classes per semester (6 credits) that are fully integrated.

Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes:

Step Forward 1 students take only non-credit work and college readiness courses taught within the program.

Step Forward 2 students take non-credit support seminars tought by SF staff and up to 2 college classes per semester (6 credits) that are fully integrated.

Classroom/academic time spent only with other students in this program: About half the time
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 25%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
Housing is provided to students: No
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Proportion of time spent only with other students in this program: About half the time
Students have participated in these social/extracurricular activities and organizations:
  • Clubs
  • Campus fairs
  • Entertainment
  • Off campus outings weekly to museums, restaurants, movies, aquariums, & festivals
Last updated: Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 18:13