New Microcredential Program to Support Workforce Training

New Microcredential Program to Support Workforce Training
New Microcredential Program to Support DSP Workforce Training

On March 20, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a $32 million investment to expand the Direct Support Professional (DSP) microcredential program offered by the State University of New York (SUNY) in partnership with the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). SUNY Oneonta was one of six SUNY campuses chosen to expand the program.

Mark Davies
Mark Davies

SUNY Oneonta was awarded $706,455 in grant funding to provide local workforce training and fill a growing need for specially trained support professionals across our county and region.

“SUNY Oneonta is proud to participate in this special partnership with the Office for People with Development Disabilities to offer the Direct Support Professional microcredential program across Otsego County and our broader region” says Mark Davies, SUNY Oneonta Dean of the School of Education, Human Ecology, and Sport Studies. “Our strong ties with organizations that advocate for people with disabilities will help us successfully build the skills of our local workforce and improve the daily lives of our neighbors in need of support.”

The university has already begun the work to build a DSP microcredential program that will reach as many interested students as possible over the next five years of the initiative.

Partnering with the area’s largest employers, SUNY Oneonta will tailor nationally recognized coursework for the employees at Springbrook, Pathfinder Village and ARC Otsego. The funding will offer these students the skills necessary to advance within these local organizations serving people with developmental disabilities.

SUNY Oneonta is also working with ONC BOCES (Otsego Northern Catskill Board of Cooperative Education Services) to design opportunities for high school and adult education students. The students may be able to earn their DSP microcredential and intern at a local partner facility to prepare them for employment.

About the DSP Microcredential Program

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP)

Program participants will earn national certification from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) through NADSP-accredited microcredentials. The three-tiered credential program includes: DSP-I, DSP-II and DSP-III, as well as Front-Line Supervisor.

Successful completion will lead to: 1) SUNY microcredential(s), college credentials, 2) one or more national certifications, and 3) college credit toward a certificate or bachelor’s degree.

Grant funding for this initiative will cover tuition, books, course materials, NADSP credentialing for students and educational supports. In addition, the program will offer a $750 incentive to eligible students who successfully complete each microcredential and earn a certification.

About Direct Support Professionals (DSPs)

Every day across our county and the country, Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) play a vital role in America’s workforce and economy by providing supports and services to people with disabilities of all ages, including supports related to employment.

Direct Support Professionals work directly with people with intellectual or developmental disabilities to help them to become independent and integrated into their community. Support services include assistance with various daily living activities, such as bathing, eating, administering medications, hygiene and grooming.

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