Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

03/20/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/20/2023 23:37

Opportunities for High Schoolers to Earn Direct Support Professional Credentials

March 20, 2023

Columbus-The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) partnered with the Ohio Department of Education to contract with the Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP) to offer training to high school students to become Direct Support Professionals (DSPs).

"DSP-U is a unique opportunity to spark the next generation of passion for our field and support in-demand jobs," said DODD Director Kim Hauck. "Partnerships like this are what will help us take our recruitment efforts to the next level."

OADSP offers the DSP-U program to high school and career/vocational schools and through partnerships with local county boards of developmental disabilities. The program provides opportunities for currently enrolled high school students interested in working with people with developmental disabilities to be better prepared for a career in the field. Students participating in the DSP-U program can earn professional credentials while receiving credit toward high school graduation requirements.

"OADSP is thrilled with this investment in future up-and-coming Direct Support Professionals. This funding provides an unprecedented opportunity to expand DSP-U across Ohio," Bethany Toledo, OADSP Executive Director, added.

The latest program launched in February at Liberty High School in Montgomery County. Students will be earning credits toward high school graduation while working toward the Certificate of Initial Proficiency credential.

DSP-U offers two types of credentials. The Basic Certificate requires the completion of 10 courses for a total of 30 hours and the Certificate of Initial Proficiency (CIP) requires the completion of 20 courses for a total of 60 classroom hours, in addition to a minimum of 100 internship hours. The CIP program is paired with enrollment in the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) E-Badge academy. Students in this program earn dual Ohio and national credentials.

For more information about DSP-U, contact Bethany Toledo at [email protected].