WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – Jefferson Community College announced on Wednesday, August 2 that they will be a participating SUNY College, with the grant-funded Direct Support Professional 1 (DSP1) microcredential starting in the upcoming fall 2023 semester.

A partnership between New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the State University of New York (SUNY) has been established, supporting the academic and career success of DSPs across New York State. 

These support professionals work one-on-one with developmentally or intellectually disabled people, assisting with the daily needs of their lives. They may also be employed in childcare centers, residential treatment facilities, eldercare and respite programs or other human service settings. Students not yet working in the field will be offered work-based learning opportunities with OPWDD or OPWDD-certified service providers. 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with SUNY and OPWDD to provide a transformative program designed to equip DSPs with specialized knowledge and skills through a comprehensive curriculum, hands-on training, flexible scheduling, expert guidance, and a clear pathway to a nationally recognized certification.”

JCC Assistant Professor Mallory Jackson

The program’s microcredential prepares students to entering the field receiving education in human services, ethics in helping professions and interpersonal communication. A microcredential typically consists of three or four credit-bearing college courses and is generally completed in as-little-as one semester, with many of the classes being offered online. 

The grant funding for this will cover the cost of tuition, books, course materials and National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) credentialing for students and educational supports. In addition, the program offers a $750 incentive to eligible students who successfully complete a microcredential and earn NADSP certification.

For more information, submit an online interest form and an educational planner from JCC will make contact.