Each Program of Study includes a Vanderbilt University course per semester that addresses career and/or learning goals. Individual, Independent Learning Contracts are developed for each course that details the assignments and expectations based upon the varying academic skills of the students. The goal of these educational experiences is to nurture a desire for the Next Steps students to become lifelong learners by engaging them at the highest levels possible in rich learning environments. The students receive support from academic mentors and Next Steps staff to help them achieve optimum benefit from their participation.
Each semester Next Steps students are also required to enroll in three Next Steps’ classes that focus on life skills that are essential for independent living. The courses are designed around hands-on instructional strategies that provide opportunities for students to practice these important skills.