Supporting Meaningful Employment (SME) Series

A young man wearing a hat and apron holds a tray of baked goods to restock the shelves at a bakery.

The SME Series is a person-centered approach to career planning, job development and job retention. This training series is designed to help employment professionals supporting people with disabilities earn an Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) Basic Employment Services Certificate. The series is recommended for job developers, vocational specialists, job coaches and direct support professionals. 

The Sherlock Center offers two paths to earn an ACRE certificate:

  1. ACRE series: The recommended path is to complete the 12-module ACRE series within as little time as six months or up to 12 months from enrollment. Completion of the series requires attendance at 12 course modules, three mentor/fieldwork sessions, and satisfactory completion of three fieldwork assignments (one for each skill area). 

  2. Build an ACRE certificate: The alternative path is to build an ACRE certificate by completing three SME mini-series within a 24-month period. Completion of each series requires attendance at the applicable course modules, mentor/fieldwork sessions and satisfactory completion of the applicable fieldwork assignment. The mini-series certificates are offered in the the following skill areas:

  • Vocational Assessment and Employment Planning

  • Job Development

  • Job Retention and Coaching

Both paths to earn an ACRE certificate are provided at no cost to employees of self-directed supports users and providers funded by the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals (BHDDH)

This SME series is offered in fall and spring at the Sherlock Center. Each module is 3.5 hours. Instructors are experienced in providing employment services for people with disabilities. 

Upcoming SME Trainings

These training modules are available to learners currently or previously enrolled in the Supporting Meaningful Employment (SME) Series. Learners may register for modules or mentor/fieldwork sessions needed to complete a certificate.

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  • access_time Various times
  • place Sherlock Center / RI College

Job Retention and Coaching is one of three SME mini-certificate series offered to earn an ACRE certificate. This is an in-person training series instructed by professionals with experience managing and supporting employment services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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  • place Sherlock Center / Rhode Island College
Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators logo


ACRE, a national organization of training providers and professionals, has approved our curriculum for a Basic Certificate in Employment Services. ACRE reviews Employment Services curriculum to meet competency-based standards. Those completing ACRE training are listed in the ACRE Certificate Registry.