The Missouri College of Direct Support (MoCDS) is a partnership of agencies that have joined together to create a training and certification program for direct support workers in Missouri. In November 2005, fourteen (14) provider agencies statewide agreed to participate in piloting the College of Direct Support (CDS) internet-based training curriculum for people in direct support roles. Currently, there are seventeen (17) agencies in the Pilot. The goals of the Missouri pilot project are to:

determine if the CDS web-based training and on-site mentoring system is an efficient, economical and effective means of training staff who support persons with developmental disabilities in the community and

●  determine if the MoCDS training/credentialing project will provide a competently trained direct care workforce available to support people in the community and reduce direct support professional turnover in Missouri.

Partner Agencies

A consortium of partner organizations and agencies have come together to make the MoCDS a reality. They include:


Steering Committee

A state wide Steering Committee provides oversight, direction and advice on the implementation of this project. The Steering Committee members are:

  • Johanna Whortmann-People First
  • Neva Thurston-Parent
  • Michelle Saunders-ACT
  • Joanie Chenault-Boone County Family Resources
  • Dr. Anne Deaton
  • Bernard Simons - MRDD
  • Dr. Carl Calkins-UMKC, Institute for Human Development
  • Dolores Hampton-AAMR
  • Roger Garlich-MACDDS
  • Susan Pritchard-Green- Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities
  • Don Carrick-Direct Support Professionals of Missouri
  • Robin Rust - MRDD


Pilot Agency Sites

The MoCDS pilot sites are made up of a consortium of agencies that have commited time, staff andn resources to the project. They will help implement the MoCDS by...

  • reviewing the CDS curriculum to determine if it meets state needs
  • augmenting the CDS curriculum for utilization in Missouri
  • developing the on-the-job-assessment and mentoring componets to align with the MoCDS training.

The pilot consortium members are:

  • Nova Center, Springfield
  • The ARC of the Ozarks, Springfield
  • Development Center, Springfield
  • UCPKC, Kansas City
  • Life Skills, St. Louis
  • St. Louis Arc
  • Emmaus Homes
  • Calloway County SB40, Fulton
  • Northland Training Coalition, Kansas City
  • ACT, Columbia
  • Community Opportunities (Lincoln County SB40)
  • Association of Group Homes, Maryville/Tarkio
  • Boone County Family Resources, Columbia
  • Center for Human Services, Sedalia
  • Unlimited Opportunities, Boonville
  • Willows Way, St. Charles



The project design anticipates the first three years of the project will result in piloting the CDS web-based training curriculum and aligning it to meet Missouri needs. The State will evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative at the end of the three-year period (November 2008) and seek to implement the training statewide with Division of MRDD providers. Also, during the pilot period the partners will work to create a Direct Support Professional (DSP) Credentialing System that would link the MoCDS competency-based training with improved compensation packages for DSPs and address the need to recruit and retain quality workers.


Contact Information

For information about the Missouri College of Direct Suport Pilot Program, please contact:

Statewide Project Coordinator
Toll Free 1-800-207-9329
jackie.coleman@dmh.mo.gov or colemanjac@umkc.edu

The Missouri College of Direct Support is a joint partnership between the following institutions:

Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of MR/DD
UMKC Institute for Human Development
Missouri Planning Council for Development Disability Services Direct Care Support Professionals of Missouri
Missouri Association of County Developmental Disabilities Services

University of Missouri

College of Direct Support
University of Missouri Extension
Missouri Chapter of American Association on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Missouri Association of Rehabilitation Facilities