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Direct Support Professional I

Direct Support Professional I

Direct Support Professional I

The Direct Support Professional - Level I microcredential is designed for employed Direct Support Professionals as well as those who are interested in developing the competencies necessary for the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) - Level I certification. The microcredential consists of two, 3-credit Psychology courses that provide students with a broad understanding of psychology and human services, along with a portfolio based on completion of 15 NADSP E-Badges.

Admission requirements for application:

For Non-matriculated students:

  • Completion of the non-matriculated student application
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Fluent in the English language
  • Currently employed by a Human Services organization
  • Completion of the Microcredential Application on Etrieve (Instructions will be emailed after completing the non-matriculated student application)

Requirements to earn the microcredential:

  • To achieve the DSP-I microcredential, students will complete PSY 101: Introduction to Psychology and PSY 255: Topics in Psychology (Human Services).
  • Students must also complete a noncredit DSP-I Portfolio. Guided by the instructor, students focus on professional writing and reflection skills and prepare a portfolio that documents DSP Level I knowledge and skills gained through field-based practice. The portfolio will consist of students' responses to writing prompts that are required for NADSP E-Badges.
  • Students must also complete 15 NADSP E-Badges (E-Badges are embedded as assignments in the Introductory Psychology and Human Services courses).

Stackable to:

Applied Psychology B.S.

Time to complete:

1 semester

Cost to attend:

Effective Spring 2024: Grant funding is available for the DSP-I microcredential to those who are currently working at a participating Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) affiliated employer looking to meet new academic and career goals. This grant funding will cover the cost of tuition, books, course materials and National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) credentialing for students and educational supports. In addition, the program offers an incentive to eligible students who successfully complete a microcredential and earn NADSP certification. For more information, contact

For all others: Standard tuition rates apply. For tuition and student consumer information, please click here.

Contact Information

Psychology Department

Knapp Hall, Second Floor

Students select courses listed below:

Required Coursework (2 courses, 6 credits)
PSY 101: Introduction to Psychology 3 credits
PSY 255: Topics in Psychology (Human Services) 3 credits

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology

This course is designed to present basic psychological concepts and to introduce students to the scientific study of behavior. Core topics include methods of psychological research, the biological bases of behavior, principles of learning, memory and cognition, personality, and psychopathology. Other selected topics to be covered would include the following: motivation and emotion, life-span development, social psychology, health psychology, sensation and perception, intelligence, human sexuality, statistics, and altered states of consciousness.

PSY 255 Topics in Psychology

This course will enable students to explore a specific subfield or topic of interest in Psychology, in a challenging atmosphere, with emphasis on student participation and written assignments. The subject for a particular semester will be announced prior to registration. Possible topics include but are not limited to: Consumer Behavior, Health Psychology, Psychology and the Law, Sport Psychology, and Parapsychology. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101.

Last Modified 5/8/24