DSP Career Development — Statewide

The state of New Jersey was interested in additional skill and competency development opportunities that aligned with a career pathway for Direct Support Professionals but knew that professional development opportunities were limited.

The hope was that through training and a career pathway tied to mentoring and monetary incentives that staff retention would improve and people with disabilities would receive high quality community-based support.

The state was looking for a training resource that could help them achieve their goals. They selected DirectCourse which is an online training curricula designed to educate and empower the direct service workforce to help others lead meaningful lives within their communities.

DirectCourse curriculum licensed:

  • College of Direct Support
  • College of Employment Services
  • College of Frontline Supervision, Management, and Leadership

DirectCourse Impact

Through a pilot project, New Jersey developed and implemented a tiered career path that utilized the College of Direct Support and aligned with the National Alliance for Direct Support Professional Credentials.

The pilot demonstrated a reduction in turnover and showed the promise of the courses found within the CDS.

As a result, New Jersey’s Division of Developmental Disabilities decided to implement the College of Direct Support across the state to meet DSP training needs. The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities acts as the statewide system administrator and provides support for all licensed providers. As the system evolved, some of the trainings became required of service provider staff and state specific trainings were added to the learner management system.

Statewide Adoption

New Jersey has now been in partnership with DirectCourse for almost 2 decades and has provided DirectCourse training to over 140,000 DSPs! Colleen McLaughlin, M.Ed., is the DirectCourse NJ Statewide Learning Administrator and Associate Director at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. She emphasized,

“The College of Direct Support’s collaboration with national experts in the field of intellectual and developmental disability has led to the development of curricula that addresses the competencies and skills that Direct Support Professionals need to have to provide high quality support and help people with disabilities be active and valued members of our communities.”