Certificate Programs for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
At Columbus State, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience college and train for a fulfilling career. We have designated two programs that are designed for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities: the Human Services Assistant or Early Childhood Aide certificates. And for students with intellectual disabilities, we offer the COMPETE program to provide additional services and support (jump to COMPETE).
Admission and Cost
Refer a Student
To refer a student for these certificate programs, contact:
The certificate programs are financial aid eligible & the majority of certificate students do qualify for a PELL grant.
If a student is self-pay, the approximate cost for the year-long HSA or ECA certificate is $2,800. HSA or ECA Certificate plus COMPETE program cost is approximately $4,000.
Potential Human Services Assistant (HSA)/Early Childhood Aide (ECA)/COMPETE students must:
- Have a developmental/intellectual or specific learning disability
- Participate in an interview with the certificate advisor and then apply to Columbus State Community College.
- Take a placement test and submit the HSA or ECA application packet.
- Meet Ohio’s background check requirements to work with individuals with a developmental disability and/or meet Ohio’s background check requirements to work with children.
- Have a proven ability to participate appropriately in a classroom and/or professional work setting.
- ECA students will be required to have physician’s verification of physical fitness.
Early Childhood Aide
This three-semester program is ideal for students who have a developmental disability and are interested in working with children from newborn to five years old. Students will learn:
- Child development basics.
- Age-appropriate activity planning.
- Positive guidance techniques.
- Caring, nurturing ways to meet children’s needs.
- Positive, respectful teaching style.
- Skills to support early childhood literacy.
Students earn an Early Childhood Aide Certificate. Credits earned in this program may be applied toward the Childhood Development Associate (CDA) certificate or the Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Development and Education.Plan of Study
Human Services Assistant
This three-semester program is ideal for students who have a developmental disability and are interested in working with individuals with significant disabilities, or the senior population. Students will:
- Develop an understanding of various disabilities and interventions to support individuals who need assistance due to a developmental disability or advanced age.
- Demonstrate effective engagement and communication to build rapport and maintain collaborative relationships.
Students will earn a Human Services Assistant Certificate. Credits earned in this program may be applied toward the Associate of Applied Science degree in Social and Human Services.Plan of Study
Tailored To Our Students
We support each student’s specific needs by offering a unique combination of classroom instruction and additional resources:
- Teaching assistants are available in the classroom and during study sessions to help with note taking, group activities, quiz preparation, and homework.
- Students participate in two semester-long practicums, spending up to 14 hours per week for 15 weeks at an early child care center or human service agency to learn and practice skills needed to work in the student’s chosen career path. Teaching assistants provide support at practicum settings as available.
- Campus resources are available as needed and requested including support with financial aid, career services, counseling services, advising, disability services, and registration.
- Students can integrate into the college community by doing homework in the computer labs, taking self-defense classes, attending sporting events or theater productions, joining clubs, having lunch at one of our on-campus eating options, and more!
Our Comprehensive Model for Postsecondary Education and Transition Enrichment (COMPETE) Program provides students who have an intellectual or developmental disability the opportunity to participate in the Human Services Assistant or Early Childhood Aide certificate programs, as well as experience college.
Through COMPETE, students:
- Gain knowledge and skills required to work in the fields of Early Childhood or Human Services through coursework and practicums.
- Participate in person-centered planning to track personal, academic, student life, and career goals.
- Develop overall career and workplace readiness skills.
- Experience student life on a college campus by participating in social activities, clubs, and events.
- Gain a competitive edge in the workforce. About 60-70 percent of students that have completed the COMPETE program have secured gainful employment in their chosen career path.