Direct Support Professional (DSP) Program

Direct Support Professionals and their clients gathered around a table, knitting and playing chess.

The Direct Support Professional program offers fully-funded training, including tuition, books, and materials. Earn SUNY microcredentials and NADSP certifications with the opportunity for a $750 incentive. Gain valuable work-based learning through internships.

About the DSP Program

The Direct Support Professional program at FLCC consists of three eight-week courses. The courses lead to national certification in the field of developmental disabilities. Classes are held online in real-time, two evenings per week, to make it easier for those already working to attend.

A grant provides full funding for tuition, fees, books, course materials, and NADSP credentialing. The online curriculum is hands-on and interactive. Internships are available if you are not employed as a Direct Support Professional.

The program was developed in partnership with the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the State University of New York (SUNY).

Earn NADSP Certifications and SUNY Microcredentials

Successful completion of the program will provide you with:

  1. SUNY microcredential worth up to 12 accredited and transferable college credits. You can use these credits toward a college degree.
  2. NADSP Direct Support Professional I (DSP-I) credential, Direct Support Professional II (DSP-II) credential, or both.
  3. $750 incentive for eligible students who complete at least one NADSP certification.
  4. Earn while you learn through on-site work experience opportunities.

Ready to Get Started?

Your first step is to complete the form below. Our Workforce staff will reach out with more information.

What is a Direct Support Professional?

As a Direct Support Professional, you help people by assisting them to learn and develop daily living skills and habits. You'll help them take care of their personal needs and teach clients to express personal choices. DSPs ensure community integration, health and safety, and a comfortable home environment for people with developmental disabilities.

Career Outcomes for Direct Support Professionals

Pursue a career as a Direct Support Assistant (DSA) or a Developmental Disabilities Secure Care Treatment Aide (DDSCTA).

Direct Support Assistant

Help individuals learn essential daily living skills, promote personal choice, and ensure community integration. With a focus on health, safety, and creating a comfortable home environment, your support will be tailored to the unique abilities of the individuals you serve.

Developmental Disabilities Secure Care Treatment Aide

Play a vital role in caring for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a treatment center. You will create a safe, secure, and stable environment, providing the therapeutic care necessary for stabilization and treatment.

DSP Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the DSP Level I Credential, you'll be able to:

  • Relate the codes of ethics defined by the NADSP and OPWDD to the role of the DSP.
  • Identify the support services that assist people in leading self-directed lives.
  • Identify the cognitive and behavioral skills of people served needed to adopt a healthy lifestyle based on personal needs that will promote lifetime health, fitness, and wellness.
  • Determine when and how to report potential or actual abuse, neglect, exploitation, or harm to people served.
  • Apply legal requirements concerning the confidentiality and privacy of client information to specific work situations.
  • Integrate classroom learning with field experience in order to meet agency and individual expectations.

Upon completion of the DSP Level II Credential, you'll be able to:

  • Highlight the important characteristics of observation, assessment, documentation, and evaluation.
  • Establish ethical tenets rooted in national best practices for direct support professionals.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with disability services systems.
  • Apply legal requirements concerning the confidentiality and privacy of client information to specific work situations.
  • Demonstrate coherent college-level oral communication that informs, persuades, or otherwise engages with an audience.
  • Evaluate communication for substance, bias, and intended effect.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to apply principles of a professional Code of Ethics in working in Human Services.
  • Demonstrate the ability to listen, paraphrase, and problem-solve.