STEPS’ unique College Expands into the Future
STEPS Pathways College offers young people living with disability the opportunity to discover a world where abilities are not inhibited by disability.
A first of its kind in Australia, the College provides a safe and supportive environment where young people with a disability are taught practical skills through a hands-on approach, teaching them to learn to live independently.
Since opening in 2017, the College has seen its first cohort graduate and move out into independent living, and now supports students in both a day and boarding college program.
One of the features that sets the College apart is its flexible learning options.
STEPS Pathways College Manager, DJ McGlynn said the flexible learning environment is a ‘big drawcard’ for many families living with disability, who have never had an option like this before.
Students can live on campus in the modern, fully furnished apartment complex known as Murphy House, which has expansion plans in the
works for 2020 to accommodate the needs of the growing College. A brand new two story unit will be built as an extension which will also include a training and recreational room for student use.
Each boarding student shares a two bedroom apartment, and has the privacy of their own bedroom, bathroom and patio, and shares a living room, kitchen, and outdoor entertainment area. Students can also enjoy the beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces throughout the campus for socialising, relaxing and study.
Onsite support to students is available at all times and the College is closely monitored for student security.
Students can also choose the day program which allows them to remain living in the comfortable environment of home while gaining the opportunity to build life-long friends and skills to eventually live independently.
Day students have flexible learning options in locations across the Sunshine Coast. DJ said regardless of whether students reside on campus or attend the day program, STEPS Pathways College offers an innovative, holistic learning model teaching nine core areas which help students learn skills in communication, healthy living, employment, residential living, recreation and technology.
“Students learn tangible skills like how to maintain a tenancy, access health and local services, effectively bank and budget, utilise technology,
use public transport, stay healthy and much more,” DJ said.
“They also have the opportunity to further develop the skills required to cope with change, develop relationships in the community, and form lifelong friendships.”
Pathways’ student Morgan McCarthy started at the College two years ago, and his Mum Robyn said the progress she has seen in him is incredible.
“STEPS Pathway College has been a Godsend,” Robyn said.
“Morgan has learned to shop, cook, catch public transport, order meals and generally ooze confidence in all he does.
“Letting him go was incredibly difficult for me in the beginning because no one cares for your child like a mum, however, I can honestly say that the staff at STEPS do,” she said.
For more information about STEPS Pathways College contact 5458 3000.