Student success is Karen’s driving force

 In Day Program, Our Stories

The Day Program at STEPS Pathways College is full of young people with a disability and autism learning and developing skills, and Karen Caldwell is happy to be a part of this life-changing program.

Joining STEPS in February of this year, Karen has been working in the role of Day Program Manager of STEPS Pathways College.

Karen has worked in the Vocational Education and Training sector (VET) for over 20 years and has designed and implemented training programs across a range of sectors to help meet the needs of students.

“I am passionate about training, mentoring, and encouraging people to realise their potential and the choices they have.

“Seeing students succeed when they never thought they could, that is my why, that is what keeps me going,” she said.

Karen said every day she is inspired by both her students and co-workers.

“Working at STEPS means I get to lead a wonderful team of trainers who are passionate about helping students to realise their potential as individuals.

“With guidance from our trainers, students are continuing to develop their knowledge and skills and overcoming challenges.”

Karen coordinates training in multiple forms at the college, including in-person learning in the Day Program and virtual learning in the Online Program.

“We have students from all over Australia; Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory, Queensland and locally, and we have been astounded at how well students have transitioned to online learning and using Zoom.”

Karen said the Online Program has both theory and practical components where students can put the things they have learnt into practice in their own environment.

“With the mobility of technology, students are able to move around with their laptop or iPad in their living spaces and demonstrate their skills via video conferencing.

“Some of our students are cooking for their families, cleaning their bathrooms, and planning meals for the first time ever, and this is a result of participating in our program.”

Karen said she is proud of the results she has seen so far in the college program.

“Our students are increasing their technology skills, developing their social skills, and supporting each other to try new things,” she said.

STEPS Pathways College provides a range of training programs that help young people with a disability and autism further develop skills for independent living. For enrolment information in the Boarding, Day, or Online program, please call 07 5458 3000 or email pathways@stepsgroup.com.au.

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