Innovative, educational non-profit partners with Norwalk Community College and local high schools to assist students living with disabilities

Feb 01, 2016, 08:05 ET from College Steps

NORWALK, Conn., Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- College Steps announced that it has partnered with Norwalk Community College (NCC) as part of a strategic plan to expand its educational model into Connecticut. NCC marks the 7th college with whom College Steps has partnered since 2011. College Steps is a non-profit that supports students living with social, communication, or learning challenges via individualized, college-based learning programs. It serves both high school transition students interested in a college primer experience prior to graduation as well as students already enrolled in college. The primary goal of College Steps is to prepare students for meaningful careers and autonomy after graduation. College Steps places a strong emphasis on self-advocacy, employment, and independent living skills.

"We are excited to be working with Norwalk Community College and the surrounding high schools in Fairfield County. Our research indicated that this location would be an ideal match for our student-centered educational model that addresses the complexities of providing college education to individuals with social, communication, or learning challenges," noted Lauren Merritt, Executive Director of College Steps. "We look forward to becoming further embedded within the local educational and service communities and to making additional connections among the area's families and local high schools to collaboratively build a sustainable and long-term option for transition aged youth living with disabilities."

College Steps also operates college partnerships at colleges in Vermont, Massachusetts, Virginia, and New York. Each of College Steps' campus partnerships is managed by a Program Coordinator and supported by Peer Mentors. The Program Coordinator is a full-time, professional with a special education background who devises and implements each student's Individualized College Plan which outlines transition goals in-line with academics, vocation skills, social and independent living. The Program Coordinator also interfaces regularly with caregivers to ensure detailed feedback on their child's performance is conveyed; interfaces with college faculty, administrators, staff and students to coordinate and support the individualized needs of each student and supervises the support team which includes peer mentors, tutors, and social skills professionals.

As part of its efforts, College Steps has created a Connecticut Advisory Board that charged with the task of ensuring College Steps is addressing the local needs of its consumers. Members include special education professionals as well as parents of special needs students. Learn more, or apply today College Steps.

Contact: Lauren Merritt                                                                                  


SOURCE College Steps