Academy for Human Service Training

The Academy for Human Service Training (AHST) is a comprehensive occupational skills program that trains individuals for direct-care, entry-level positions in the Human Services field. Graduates of the program become Direct Support Professionals for children or adults with disabilities in residential and community experience programs, Job Coaches for community-based worksites, and Support Staff in behavioral health and other human service settings.

Our competency-based curriculum provides broad-based exposure, education, and experience in many areas of Human Services with a focus on Developmental Disabilities and Customer Service. A theoretical classroom approach combined with an internship gives students invaluable practical experience in the field. Knowing oneself is a prerequisite to working effectively with others so the program also fosters the student’s ability to better understand themselves while promoting greater awareness of personal strengths. Students graduate with a wide range of skills and industry-recognized certifications such as Adult & Pediatric CPR, First Aid and PMT (Physical & Psychological Management Training). At the end of the session, students are required to complete an online proctored exam to obtain the National Professional Certification in Customer Service.

The AHST has new class cohorts starting every 6 weeks. Class hours are typically 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Class hours are typically 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and take place over a 4-week period. Classes are held in a virtual forum, with the exception of three mandatory days of in-person classes for certification courses. 4-weeks of Internship will follow the classroom training component (8-weeks in total).

Applicant Criteria

  • 18 years of age or older
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Valid CT Driver’s License or eligible to obtain one with assistance while in the program
  • No felony convictions within the past ten years
  • Participation in the pre-admission review
  • Ability to commit to the entire training program
  • Availability for full-time employment upon completion of program
  • Ability to meet additional guidelines as applicable determined by our funding sources


Each student works with the AHST team, who facilitates the group process and helps with problem-solving skills, diversity, teamwork, and self-esteem. The team provides students with information and resources to build self-sufficiency so that they may acquire skills to effectively take an active role in their successes. Motivation and general etiquette are developed as students move toward the workforce. Also, the AHST team keeps an “open door” policy to help ensure a successful transition to the workplace.

Students receive assistance with obtaining employment at the conclusion of the program and a minimum of six months of follow-up services to support acquiring and maintaining employment. Job placement is based on the area of interest expressed by the student.


Internship placement is guided by areas of interest identified by the student and can include group homes or residential programs, day programs or community-based programs, and other customer-centered positions to gain experience and practical training. Internship placement (up to 120 hours) provides an opportunity for students to incorporate classroom theory into work situations.

While under the supervision and support of the internship supervisor, students develop a Human Service ethic. Punctuality, attitude, performance, and reliability are addressed as are a number of important characteristics cultivated to facilitate success in the field.


  • NRF Customer Service & Sales Certification
  • American Red Cross Adult & Pediatric CPR & First Aid
  • PMT (Physical & Psychological Management Training)
  • State of CT Recovery Assistant
  • Credits towards NADSP Direct Support Professional 1
  • State of CT Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Mandated Trainings


Every Wednesday at 3:30pm via Zoom


Career ConneCT
Jobs First Employment Services (JFES)
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL)

Academy for Human Service Training Contact Information:

Rachel Lombardozzi
Program Director
Phone: (203) 389-2970, ext. 1042

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