Gaston Links is a 3-year transition program for students of Gaston County Schools between the ages of 18 and 22 with developmental disabilities who are following the extensions to the NC Standard Course of Study leading to a graduation certificate.
The goal of Gaston Links is to provide an opportunity for participants to receive college campus experience while improving social, self-determination and communication skills, leading to gainful employment or volunteer opportunities.
Gaston Links offers Workforce Development, Continuing Education, and Certification courses taught by Gaston College instructors in addition to career exploration and job preparation courses taught by Gaston County Schools' EC teachers.
Within 3 years, our young adults will receive training and support to gain permanent employment or volunteer positions.
To prepare young adults for careers and independent living in Gaston County
- Obtaining employment in a full or part-time paid position in the community
- Participating in college classes
- Increasing mobility in the community
- Engaging the support of adult service agencies
- Improving social and communication skills
- Improving self-determination skills
- Developing friendships with other people of similar ages
- Developing age-appropriate leisure and recreation pursuits
Gaston Links meets Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. in the Dalpiaz building on the Dallas campus of Gaston College. For students who are dually enrolled in high school and college courses, transportation and meals may be provided by Gaston County Schools. Due to the pandemic, there may be times when either the college or the school system require all classes to be held virtually.
Students are eligible to apply if they:
1. are following the extensions to the NC Standard Course of Study leading to a certificate, not a diploma.
2. will be at least 18 years old by the first day of class for the upcoming school year.
3. will have completed 4 years of high school.
1. possess a drive to learn and to overcome challenges.
2. have the will to participate every day, whether learning in person or virtually.
2. can routinely demonstrate self-management and self-care skills in a college setting.
3. interact with Job Coaches, EC Teachers, and College Instructors without daily prompting from adults.