Jul 12, 2024  
Catalog 2024-2025 
Catalog 2024-2025

Developmental Disabilities Direct Support Certificate


Donna Rowe, 413.552.2029, drowe@hcc.edu


The Developmental Disabilities Direct Support Certificate was created in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to offer college education to staff at agencies providing residential and employment programs and recreational, personal, and family support for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Students are encouraged to enter this Certificate Program in the Fall semester. If they do so, it is possible to complete this certificate in one year, in consultation with their advisor. Generous tuition assistance may be available to professionals currently employed in direct support roles at DDS-funded agencies and organizations.


Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the presentation of developmental and intellectual disabilities
  • discuss approaches for supporting and working with individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families
  • explain the roles of human services workers more broadly, including professional ethics, helping skills, professional identity and development, and multicultural practice
  • demonstrate effective written and verbal communication skills
  • read, understand, and utilize research and data to support ideas and decisions



CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) and SORI (Sexual Offender Registry Information) background checks may be required prior to field work and practicum placement and will be conducted by specific agencies in accordance with state regulations. CORI and SORI results are confidential.

Depending on course selection, 100% of this program can be completed online.  Go to Online Learning  for more information.