Direct Support Professionals Career Development Program

NJACP, in partnership with The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, has entered into an agreement with the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development to establish the Direct Support Professionals Career Development Program (DSPCDP). The goals of the initiative are to recruit and train individuals, for careers as Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), as well as providing best in class training for those already working in the field. This program applies to all DSPs throughout the state of New Jersey. All are encouraged to apply!

Program Components

High School: High school students may pursue an internship and training that allows first-hand experience working with individuals with IDD. Students will work alongside experienced Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in providing services and supports. A stipend will be provided, and students can check with their guidance counselors to determine if work will translate into high school credits. Students must be 18 years old to participate.

Workforce Development Certification: The program is also for those seeking a change in career, as well as DSPs that wish to increase their skills. Interested applicants who live in Bergen County or the surrounding areas can apply to Bergen Community College. Interested applicants who live in Gloucester and Cumberland counties can apply to Rowan College of South Jersey. Coursework will allow for the development of skills and knowledge of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) field.

Academic Advancement: Current DSPs may pursue an Associate’s degree in their chosen field. A stipend totaling $5,000 will be made available and, based on income, you may be eligible for one hundred percent of tuition reimbursement.

Apply to the DSPCD Program!

Bergen Community College:

Rowan College of South Jersey:

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the program, please contact Ruben Roberts, Executive Director of the DSP Career Center, at