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Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS)

Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS)
Texas A&M University
Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS)
Texas AM University
TAMU 4225
College Station, TX 77843
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Program Contact Tracy Glass
Phone 979.845.4461

The PATHS Certificate Program leads to a successful career as a Direct Support Professional General (DSP-G), a Direct Support Para-Paraprofessional (DSP-P) or a Child Care Professional (CCP). This three-semester certificate program (includes a 4-week summer program prior to the fall), offered at the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University, prepares graduates for careers supporting people with disabilities and older adults to live in their communities, as well as teachers and children. A Direct Support Professional General may be employed by a private agency for people with developmental disabilities or older adults, a home health agency, the family of the individual receiving services, or directly by an individual with a disability or older adult. Students working toward a certificate as DSP-P support teachers and students in the classroom and may become employed by school districts or other educational facilities.  Students working toward obtaining a certificate as a CCP learn to support children ages 0-5 in a childcare setting.  

The program begins with a 4-week summer Bridge to Career program that serves as a “college boot camp”. Students learn how to navigate independently within the Texas A & M campus and community, acquire basic students skills, self-advocacy skills, self-determination skills, and learn about supports available to them. The following semester of classroom coursework provides students with the required skills to gain successful employment as well as enrichment courses to further enhance the quality and depth of the training. During the second semester, students are placed in an onsite practicum position based on their chosen career path. The PATHS Certificate offers opportunities for graduates to be employed immediately as a Direct Support Professionals (DSP-G, DSP-P, or CCP) by providers of community services.

Public or private: Public
Type of school: 4-year college or university
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? No
Students in this program: Have graduated or exited from high school
Number of students: 42
Description of our summer transition program:

Students attend a 4-week summer program (Bridge to Career) as a prerequisite to the PATHS Program. This will help the student and staff to determine whether the program is a good fit for their career goals.

School district or agency partner: Center on Disability and Development
Contact person: Jessica Dees
Deadline to apply to this program: February
Requirements for admission to this program:
  • Other diploma (e.g., IEP diploma, certificate of attendance)
  • Student must be their own legal guardian
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
Program length: 1 year
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? Yes
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities): Students do not take typical college courses
Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes:

All classes and activities required for the program are listed here on our website: 

Time spent only with other students in this program: All of the time
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Direct Support Professional or Child Care Professional
The credential(s) is/are: Approved by Institute of Higher Education
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
We offer the following specialized credentials:

Human Services and Child Care

Housing is provided to students: Yes
Housing options available:
  • Inclusive off campus
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Proportion of time spent only with other students in this program: 75%
Last updated: Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 09:15