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Direct Support Professional


Learn more about this exciting new program today! 


Turn Your Calling into a Career

You have a passion for helping others. We do, too! Mentorship, high quality education and real-world experience are at the core of what we do at DCC. 

Offered in partnership with the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) our Direct Support Professional (DSP) program provides structure and support, so you can focus on what’s important – building your skill set and capacity to serve! 



tiers to build your knowledge and skills 


badges from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP)


credits toward a certificate or degree

Anyone with an interest in working closely with people with disabilities – whether you’re just entering the Human Services field or looking to grow your expertise. 

Because microcredentials can both stand on their own and “stack” (apply) to our Human Services certificate and degree programs, you decide how much education you want to complete. Future social workers, counselors and psychologists can start as DSPs, or it can be a fulfilling career in its own right. 

In a word, flexible! Courses can be taken online or in-person, full-semester or accelerated, synchronously or asynchronously – we’ll work with you to create a schedule to fit your life (not the other way around!)   

If you're already working in the field, you should know that many agencies offer tuition support! Students eligible for employer funded tuition reimbursement programs may apply for a deferment of tuition payment using this form.

If you need to finance your education yourself, you're in luck! Not only is DCC's tuition the lowest in New York State, but payment plans and scholarships are available as well.

What You’ll Study in Our Direct Support Professional Programs

Our DSP microcredentials provide the framework you need to grow your career. Coursework is structured into three microcredentials with nine credits in each and aligns with the requirements for certification from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP).

Over the course of your studies, you have the potential to earn 27 credits (or almost half of an associate degree), in addition to more than 50 different industry-recognized badges to demonstrate new proficiencies as you acquire them. If you’re brand new to the field, you’ll also be placed in an internship where you’ll be able to practice your skills. 

Should you decide to continue at DCC, you can apply your coursework to an associate degree or certificate in Human Services.

What Direct Support Professionals Do

As a DSP, you’ll make a difference in the lives of others – with a focus on assisting people with developmental disabilities. Given the solid academic foundation and experience you’ll gain in our microcredential programs, you’ll be equipped to serve individuals of all ages – working in a variety of settings from daycare to eldercare, in outpatient and residential treatment facilities, jails and alternative correction programs, crisis centers and more. Our curriculum aligns with the certification offered to DSPs through the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), which means the work you do at DCC is recognized across the country. 

Contact Us

Lacie Reilly, Instructor & Program Chair, Human Services

Taconic Hall 309

Phone: 845-431-8349

53 Pendell Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601