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Division Dean
Karyn Boutin
Office: LA113
Ext: 1903
Glen Prospere
Office: H338
Ext. 1760
Adjunct Faculty
Carolyn Buker
Alan Garcia
Beverly Iddings
Karen Romans


College-Approved Certificate Program
Department of Developmental Services
Direct Support Certificate in Human Services
Human Services Home | Course Information | Gainful Employment Disclosure | View Program Requirements Page
The Direct Support Certificate is a program initiated by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office. It is an educational program especially designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of direct support workers in DDS settings.

This College-Approved certificate consists of 22 college level credits. Major topics include the organization and history of the social welfare system, the dynamics and skills of effective group work, effective oral and written communication, interpersonal relations and supportive counseling skills, and work site certification. National Skills Standards for Human Service Workers will be integrated into the curriculum. The certificate is designed to strengthen writing, problem solving, and critical thinking skills by utilizing reading assignments and discussions of daily experiences, challenges and concerns of direct support workers.

Direct support workers who are employed at an agency under contract with DDS, with a GED or high school diploma, and who have the support of their employer, are eligible to apply. Participants are required to take the community college placement assessment and demonstrate college-level skills in reading and writing. Applicants are accepted into the program in May, June, September, and January.

The certificate program is a special opportunity for direct support workers to attend college courses as a group and to learn and practice competencies and skills that are important to their daily work. In addition, the credits earned for the certificate can be applied towards an Associate degree program and later transferred to a Bachelor degree.

The following courses are required for completion of the Certificate Program:

Introduction to Social Welfare
Introduction to Group Dynamics
Developmental Disabilities
English Composition I
General Psychology
Special Topics in Human Services
Field Experience & Seminar in Human Services
This program awards a College-Approved Certificate upon completion of 7 courses and 22 credits.
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