Direct Support Professionals’ Training


The Polus Center has developed a comprehensive training program aimed at preparing individuals to successfully enter into the field of human services. This six-week virtual training program is available state-wide and will prepare participants to work in a variety of settings helping others with their social, educational, vocational, and daily living needs. After completing the course, participants will receive a certificate of completion and qualify for jobs such as Direct Support Professional, Day Program Worker, Residential counselor, Outreach Worker, Job Coach, School Paraprofessional/Advocate, Recovery Specialist, ABA Therapist, and non-profit work. The benefit of this course is that it exposes participants to a wide variety of jobs and sets them on a path that has excellent growth potential. Most human service agencies offer at least one or two steps up the career ladder without further education. It also provides participants with the core competencies needed for a successful career, including confidentiality, communication techniques, and safety protocols. The program branches further into Social Role Valorization and the philosophies that drive a person-centered approach to direct support.

The Polus Center is proud to have secured speakers who have both worked in human services and have received support from human service agencies. Participants have the opportunity to learn about topics such as autism, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, homelessness, mental health services, and assistive technology from people who work in those fields. They are exposed to the career ladder from entry-level jobs to positions requiring a degree or certification. In addition, experts in stress management and workplace readiness will address resiliency, workplace collaboration, problem-solving and successfully navigating a new position.

This program’s primary objective is to help people find their passion within the human services field and equip them with the knowledge needed to excel in their new position from day one. Current offerings include: January 3, 2023; April 4, 2023; June 6, 2023; September 12, 2023; and January 9, 2024. All trainings run from 9:00 AM-1:00PM over zoom for six weeks.

This project is funded by the Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant (Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund FY’21 Appropriation) through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and is administered by Commonwealth Corporation. This training-to-work program is free for its participants and supports individuals who are unemployed or underemployed to obtain employment. By enrolling in this program, participants agree to pursue, obtain, and maintain employment in the human services field following completion of the six-week course. In addition to the course content, participants are provided instruction and mentorship on resume writing and interview preparation. A virtual job fair allows participants to meet potential employers and form connections that may lead to employment. Job placement support and follow-up continue after the course ends.