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Home » News » New York State » State enters agreement with SUNY to expand direct support professionals to get national certification, college credits

State enters agreement with SUNY to expand direct support professionals to get national certification, college credits

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  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Friday that the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities has entered into a $5 million agreement with the State University of New York to expand a program that will enable direct support professionals to secure national certification and college credit toward a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree.

The program, known as a microcredential, is aimed at helping individuals already working in the profession and those new to the developmental disabilities field to earn college credits that meet requirements for certification from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP). Successful completion of the program will result in a SUNY microcredential, a national certification, and college credit toward a certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree.


Supported through $5 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, the microcredential program is aimed at helping individuals already working in the profession and those new to the developmental disabilities field. The program will provide a $750 stipend to eligible students who successfully complete a microcredential and earn a certification. Grant funding will cover tuition, books, course materials, NADSP credentialing for students, and educational supports.

The partnership is aimed at encouraging students to pursue professions that provide direct support for people with developmental disabilities and to further professionalize the developmental disabilities workforce. The microcredential program will prepare participants to deliver high-quality supports to people with developmental disabilities, provide opportunities to the existing workforce, and create a pipeline of qualified candidates who are trained and certified in the field.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

“New Yorkers with developmental disabilities deserve to have the right people with the right training supporting them so they can thrive in their day-to-day lives,” Governor Hochul said. “This partnership will further strengthen and professionalize New York’s direct support workforce and is yet another example of the actions we are taking to offer career advancement and growth opportunities in this crucial field.”

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, “SUNY is proud to partner with OPWDD and National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals to support New York State Direct Support Professionals. Through our suite of microcredentials, adult learners have access to high-quality education and training, coupled with access to tutoring and other resources to succeed. We recognize the invaluable work our direct support providers do every day, and we are pleased to create new pathways to enter the field, advance careers, and help realize academic goals.”

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

The microcredential program builds on Governor Hochul’s efforts to build the direct service professional workforce and address worker shortages. Last fall, OPWDD entered a three-year, $10 million partnership with the National Alliance to offer three levels of direct support professionals credentialing and frontline supervisor certification through its E-Badge Academy.

Participating SUNY campuses include SUNY Corning, Dutchess Community College, SUNY Empire State College, Finger Lakes Community College, Jefferson Community College, Mohawk Valley Community College, SUNY Morrisville, Niagara County Community College, Onondaga Community College, SUNY Schenectady and Tompkins Cortland Community College. For more information, please visit SUNY’s microcredential website or contact OPWDD.



Categories: New York StateNews