Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Academy

Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Academy

The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire, the NH Bureau of Developmental Services, and the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities will be piloting this project for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs).

UNH DSP Academy logo

The DSP Academy will allow workers to have improved knowledge, skills, competence, and confidence in the field when it comes to supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These competencies will be cross-walked with the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) competencies. This program will offer a 12-week asynchronous online course through the platform called CANVAS. Experts in the field of DSP will teach these online classes. Once trainees have completed their online training, there will be a 26-week on-the-job training with the support of monthly in-person seminars for the trainees.

Recent data shows the need for quality training to help lower the turnover of DSP workers. This training will give workers the competency and confidence to stay within the field and offer high-quality work output. Data has also shown that when people feel supported and valued in their work locations, they have positive outcomes and long-term employment.

  • Who can apply for the program: DSPs currently working or planning to work by September 2023.
  • How many DSPs are we looking for in this Pilot: The first pilot is full, please contact us if you're interested in attending a future DSP Academy.
  • What kind of Employers are we looking for: We are looking for DSP area agencies or private vendor organizations to apply with interest on behalf of their employee(s). Ideal candidates are agencies that are collaborative and committed to high-quality training and those who still need to implement DSP training.