Savannah Technical College will offer a new certificate program that aims to solidify credentials and prepare those who work with the developmentally disabled gain access to resources and services that will assist them in their daily lives. The Direct Support Professional program was begun as a collaborative effort between the technical colleges and the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. The program was piloted in several communities and has just expanded to include Savannah.
Classes will begin in Savannah on Sept. 19 at the STC Savannah Campus, 5717 White Bluff Road. Classes will be taught Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6 pm – 10 pm.
The 15-hour certificate program includes two classroom courses with each accompanied by a Practicum. The first course, Facilitating Access to Community Living I (DSP 110) aims to help students begin to understand how support systems have changed over time, the importance of the values underlying those changes, how planning and support actions should begin with a much deeper understanding, or "discovery," of who the individual is that requires support, the resources and social capital present within the community, appropriate representation and support that facilitates a person’s contributions and interdependence in and with a community. Students also begin learning and practicing the Try Another Way training pioneered by Dr. Marc Gold, an early leader in systematic instruction technology.
The second classroom course, Facilitating Access to Community Living II (DSP 111) begins with an exploration of effective training within natural work environments and other community settings. Support for persons with "challenging behaviors" is approached from a perspective of encouragement and motivation. The course contains basic and necessary information for DSPs covering basic rights, confidentiality, documentation, personal wellness, medical supports and medications. It concludes with conduct and expectations for support professionals, learning teams/learning organizations, and GA’s services system.
Those interested in enrolling should contact Jackie Smalls at 443-5808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.