2021-2022 Student Catalog 
    Jun 15, 2024  
2021-2022 Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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Disability Studies, Certificate

Contact Information

Program Requirements

Typical Program

Degree/Certificate:    Certificate
HEGIS Code:            5501
SUNY Code:             0052
Major Code:             DSST

The Career

The Disability Studies certificate program is a one-year program in which each and every credit is applicable toward an associate’s degree in a related field (i.e. AA in Human Services).

Direct training in areas of disability leads to work in an expanding job market. Entry-level positions such as recreation specialist, social skills trainer, supportive employment specialist, service coordinator and residential manager create opportunities to experience a feeling of giving in the professional world. Advanced training leads to positions such as rehabilitation counselor, exceptional education teacher and social worker.

The NCCC Approach

Through classroom study and field experiences, students will learn about the nature and treatment of disabilities. Coursework includes introductory skills in counseling, case management and administering programs in the helping profession. Internships will be experienced in group homes, sheltered workshops, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, shelters, clinics and rehabilitation centers. Students will develop personal skills needed in the helping role. Field trips, videos, role plays and lectures complement the internship experience in the classroom.

Certification in Basic Life Support is required prior to graduation. This requirement may be fulfilled through successful completion of HED 214 or an equivalent program offered by the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. Certification must remain current throughout the program. A minimum of 2-credit hours in Health/Physical Education is still required unless successfully challenged.


Students admitted fall, spring and summer.

The Disability Studies program is offered as a full-time day program or part-time evening program. Because of the sequencing of courses, it may take longer than four semesters to complete the part-time evening program or two semesters to complete the full-time day program if a student begins in a spring semester.

See Human Services  for associate degree option.

Program Goals and Objectives

  • To prepare students with the necessary qualifications for entry-level positions in the field of disabilities

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate familiarity with disability services systems
  • Discuss professional ethics as they relate to disability services
  • Acquire first-hand experience helpful toward career development
  • Integrate classroom learning with field experience
  • Demonstrate an understanding of disabilities

Program Requirements (DSST)

  1. A total of at least 32-credit hours with a minimum curriculum grade-point average of 2.0. Academic Foundations courses do not count toward the certificate.
  2. Rehabilitation: A minimum of 21-credit hours to include:
    COE 199 - Experiential Co-op II  
  3. Health/Physical Education: A minimum of 2-credit hours to include:
    ___  ___  Health/Physical Education elective
  4. Social Sciences: A minimum of 9-credit hours to include:

Typical Program


All required Disabilities Studies courses are also offered online at least once per academic year.

Scholarship Opportunities

There are several scholarships available to NCCC students. Scholarship deadline dates vary each semester.  For more information, please visit the scholarship webpage at www.niagaracc.suny.edu/scholarships. The NCCC Scholarship Office is located within the Financial Aid Complex, A-114 or by phone (716) 614-6205.