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Direct Support Professional Certificate

Certificate Program

Make a difference one life at a time! Today, unlike in the past, most individuals with developmental disabilities live in their home communities and thrive thanks to Direct Support Professionals who help them lead self-directed lives and contribute to their communities. As a student in this program, you'll learn how to provide these individuals support in daily living tasks, community living, health and wellness awareness, vocational experiences, and social integration. While enrolled, you'll earn 12 credit hours from a combination of classroom instruction and field work; courses will include face-to-face and online instruction. The skills and knowledge you learn can be applied to residential programs, day programs, or any combination of services appropriate for the client.

Labor market studies in Delaware indicate new job openings in this field within the next five years, and employers of direct support professionals are strongly encouraging certification. If you're looking for a career that is more than just a job, a Direct Support Professional certificate will prepare you for this challenging but rewarding profession.

This program is offered at the Dover, Georgetown, and Wilmington campuses.

What You Can Do

In this program, you will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare you for positions such as:

  • Assistant Program Director
  • Case Managers
  • House Managers
  • Job Coach
  • Job Developer
  • Program Manager
  • Training Specialist
  • Training Supervisor
What You Will Earn

Competitive starting salaries range from $25,577 to $32,935.

What You Will Learn

Program Graduate Competencies

The Program Graduate Competencies listed below identify the major learning goals related to your specific program of study and identify the knowledge and skills you will have when you graduate to be successful in your chosen field.

  1. Create and maintain effective and professional documents relevant to agencies working with people who have a disability.
  2. Identify and communicate clients? strengths, needs, and resources to contribute to planning appropriate support services in a variety of settings.
  3. Provide effective direct support services to clients with varying levels of ability by utilizing ethical and professional principles and practices.
  4. Apply basic management and leadership skills in professional environments, including time management, organization, and the ability to follow directions.
  5. Establish effective working relationships within the Direct Support arena.
  6. Utilize feedback to assess the outcomes and opportunities created for clients and make adjustments accordingly.