Admissions Process

Application Tips 

  • Think About It! | Carefully consider why you want to become a Direct Support Professional (DSP-G), Para-Professional (DSP-P) or Child Care Professional (CCP). We want to admit people who are passionate about these fields!
  • Checklist | Make sure you have submitted everything listed on the application checklist. Your application cannot be reviewed if it is missing items.
  • Filling Out Your Application | You may begin your online application, save it for up to one month, and finish it later.  This only works if you use the same computer each time. Application Deadline is February 28, 2019.  If you need assistance with the application, contact Jessica Dees at
  • Fees | When you explain how your funding sources will pay for the program fee and living expenses, remember to consider the cost of transportation, food, housing, utilities, and any other bills you pay. If you need help with the cost of the program fee, please see the Student Resources section on our webpage.
  • References | Make sure you give your two reference writers plenty of time to submit their online reference! Ask them if they will provide you with strong reference via our easy online form at least a month before the application deadline. Possible references could be from employers, teachers, counselor or ministers.  Possible references should NOT be friends or family members.  Your application will not be complete without your online references
  • Essays | Submit your essay, PowerPoint, video, or audio recording in an approved format (see list below for approved formats). Please follow the essay guidelines. You can upload your essay to your online application or mail your essay to us at PATHS Program at Texas A&M University, 4225 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4225. The essay process is not intended to be a barrier to successful enrollment, but an opportunity for the admissions committee to assess the applicant’s commitment to pursuing a career as a DSP-G, DSP-P or CCP. The alternate formats serve as a method for people with limited writing abilities to communicate in their own way with their own level of skill their intent to be successful in the program. 
    See Callan Mannion's video essay from 2015 - click here.
  • Essay guideline for Direct Support Professional Programs (DSP-G and DSP-P)

  • Essay guideline for Child Care Professional Program (CCP)

Acceptable document formats for essay:

  • Written Essay: Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx); Notepad (.txt); Preferred: PDF (.pdf) 
    Note: To convert your Word file to a PDF, go to the File menu, click Save As, and select PDF from the “Save as Type” menu.
  • PowerPoint: .ppt or pptx
  • Video (please submit files on a flash drive or provide a URL to view the movie) Windows Media Player (.wmv), QuickTime (.mov) or Audio Video Interleave (.avi).
  • Audio (please submit on a cassette tape, CD, or DVD): .wav, .wma, .mp3
  • Double-check Your Work | Carefully proofread your application. Write your essays (if applicable) and other application materials in Microsoft Word or another word processing system before uploading them onto the application itself. This will allow you to save and spellcheck your materials. Please make sure that your phone number and email address are correct before you submit the application. We need to be able to contact you to schedule an interview. Please make sure to check your email regularly. We will be emailing out important news regarding the program and admissions!
  • Interview | Following a successful review of the applicant’s essay, the applicant will be asked to visit the campus at Texas A&M for an interview to discuss the program further and answer any questions the applicant, family or other interested person may have. The PATHS application committee seeks to admit people who have a commitment to complete the program and commitment to support people with disabilities as a career. The essay, references and interview components of the application process are critical to the successful employment of the applicant and securing an ongoing pool of employers who recognize PATH graduates as exception individuals and DSPs.
  • Application Assistance | If you would like, a parent, TWC counselor, or other person may help you complete the application. However, please make sure the words and ideas in the essay, PowerPoint, video, or audio recording are your own.
  • Application Eligibility | Only applicants who are their own legal guardian are eligible to apply. Click here for more information.






Page last updated: March 4, 2019 - 2:29pm