Pathways School of Excellence for Middle & High School ESE Students

Feeling confident that their child or teen is in the right school environment is a concern for any parent. For parents whose sons and daughters have special needs, that concern presents its own types of challenges. Will their students be cared for and accepted? Can they be challenged without feeling that their disability is hindering their chance to progress academically or socially?

The answer isn’t always that simple.

Students with special needs require more than academic assistance and instruction. Parents want to ensure that their child’s social, emotional and physical well-being is paramount to the teacher, and that the teacher is fully capable of identifying and handling their student’s particular needs.

At Pathways School of Excellence — the only university-based school in Polk County specifically designed for middle and high school aged students with special needs — students are embraced for who they are and taught how to  grow into the persons God has designed them to become.

Professional, Christian Teachers
Our teachers are not only specifically trained to care for students with special needs, they know how to identify learning challenges and how to improve on them, and how to help the student feel more confident in what they’re doing.

“We have students here who have had rough experiences at prior schools. Knowing that our teachers are intent on showing the love of Christ to our students is one of the main reasons that parents choose us,” said Dr. John Taylor, principal of Pathways.

Each faculty member of Pathways is a certified ESE teacher and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise. “When our students come to Pathways, they are immediately immersed in an environment that cares for them as a whole person,” Dr. Taylor explained. “We are Christian professionals who are experienced in teaching students with special needs, and also in how to make them feel that they are important, capable and loved.”

On-Campus Connections
Dr. Taylor also noted that Pathways students especially enjoy the campus culture at Southeastern University. The positive impact of being part of a larger campus where they can meet and interact with many types students cannot be understated.

Students in the College of Education volunteer in Pathways most (though students in many majors, such as ministry,psychology, art, and music also enjoy the experience). Not only do they get work experience, but several of them have discovered Exceptional Student Education as their own calling through their interactions with the Pathways students.

Dr. Taylor is confident that students who attend Pathways are set up for a lifetime of success. “We don’t see students in terms of their disabilities,” Dr. Taylor says. “We see them as God’s children. We help them focus on their strengths, and use that to show them how they can become capable of even more than they thought possible.”

Attendance at Pathways has grown significantly in the two school years it has been in operation. Limited openings for the 2019 spring semester are still available, and applications are also now being accepted for the 2019–2020 school year. Interested families are welcome to explore more about Pathways and apply on their web page. Personalized tours can be scheduled by emailing pathways@seu.edu.

Learn More
Pathways Parent testimonials
Apply to Pathways
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Download a Pathways brochure
ESE 4+1 Degree at SEU

SEU is also home to the SEU Link Post-Secondary Transition program, one of the only faith-based post-secondary transition programs in the United States. The program is designed to assist students with mild intellectual disabilities in making the transition from high school to adulthood.