Step Forward I

Step Forward I is a 10-month transition program for young adults (18-21) with mild cognitive disabilities. This non-credit 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 may include:

  • Vocational exploration & career planning
  • Job search essentials
  • Personal finances
  • Interpersonal & workplace communications
  • Self-advocacy & disability awareness
  • Nutrition & fitness.

Step Forward II

Step Forward II is a 10-month transition program designed for students who have successfully completed Step Forward I. Students in year II will focus on the career objectives they have identified through their first year by engaging in related college coursework and internships. Students are required to attend 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. Students are required to do an intensive internship within their field of interest. Topics covered in the Step Forward II program may include:

  • Time management
  • Effective study skills
  • Understanding college expectations
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Goal setting.

High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder Program

This program is designed for students on the autism spectrum who are academically qualified to enroll in classes at Gateway Community College. The program offers an additional level of support and case management, beyond the federally mandated ADA (disability) services.

Services include:

  • Academic and disability-related counseling
  • Referrals to appropriate college and community-based resources
  • Assistance with college procedures including admissions, financial aid, academic advising, registration, and disability services.

Students must apply for admission to Gateway Community College and take the placement test to determine appropriate classes. Students requiring academic accommodations must register for disability services. Non-credit seminars are required to address disability-related issues. Topics will include:

  • Social skills in the classroom, workplace, and with peers
  • Interpersonal communications
  • Self-advocacy & disability awareness
  • Time management & organizational skills
  • Learning strategies
  • Work readiness & career exploration

Learn more


Jaime French
(203) 285-2505