Direct Support Professional

Degree Type

Program Description

The Direct Support Professional certificate is designed to provide a solid foundation in communication, behavior management, and critical thinking skills necessary to provide basic services in a variety of settings such as acute, long-term care, personal care, or independent living facilities. Students have the option of becoming a helping professional within a position where a degree is not required, but interpersonal skills and knowledge of human development will be a strong asset. Students may bring varied levels of understanding and experiences; therefore, an emphasis is placed on basic principles of behavior modification, basic medical terminology, ethics in the helping profession, and cultural sensitivity to encourage self-reflection as a competent helper.

This program provides the foundational information and knowledge to function confidently as an assistant in the area of direct client/patient care. It can also serve as professional development for those currently working in the field as a direct support professional. This certificate consists of stackable credits within the Social Service Assistant (A.A.S.) degree program.

Career Opportunities

Successful graduates of this certificate program can seek employment in entry-level positions and assist in providing services in a variety of settings such as:

  • Independent Residential Living Facilities
  • Long-term Care Facilities
  • Personal Care Homes
  • Rehabilitation Treatment Facilities

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to work with diverse populations within acute, long-term care, personal care, or independent living facilities.
  2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of basic behavioral analytic principles and procedures.
  3. Demonstrate a basic set of helping skills for entry level employment in the field of addictions counseling (i.e., interviewing skills, monitor/record client progress).
  4. Collaborate with other multidisciplinary helping professionals to assist in planning/coordinating treatment.
  5. Demonstrate cultural sensitivity, critical thinking, and ethical characteristics of a helping professional.

Obtaining the Certificate

To earn the certificate, the student must:

  1. Matriculate into the program.
  2. Satisfactorily complete all degree requirements, including General Education and Major course requirements of the degree.
Total Credits