Information for TWC Counselors

 Program Description

The Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS) program prepares individuals for a job as a Direct Support Professional-General (DSP-G), Direct Support Professional-Paraprofessional (DSP-P) or Child Care Professional (CCP). After completing two semesters at the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University, PATHS graduates will be ready for immediate employment caring for children ages 0-5, working in schools, or serving people with disabilities and older people in community settings providing the following services:

  • assist a person with mobility needs to complete everyday tasks
  • support a person to become active in community settings of their choice
  • assist a person in developing independent living skills
  • support more than one person with disabilities in a community home

The first semester consists of coursework providing both core competency and enrichment classes to students to prepare them for work as Direct Support Professionals, Direct Support Para-Professionals, or Child Care Professionals in the community.

  • The role of a direct support professional or child care professional
  • CPR and first aid
  • Identifying, reporting and avoiding abuse, neglect/exploitation
  • Confidentiality
  • History of disability
  • Self-determination/disability rights
  • Basic computer skills
  • Assistive Technology (AT)
  • Person-Centered Thinking and Planning
  • Community inclusion
  • Supportive and respectful communication
  • Supporting friendships and relationships
  • Positive Behavior Supports

Students who successfully complete the first semester will meet the minimum requirements to be employed by a community provider. The second semester is a 135+ hour practicum that will offer hands-on training in a community setting serving people with disabilities and/or older adults. Students will have the opportunity to apply the skills they learned in the classroom in a real work setting. Upon successful completion of their practicum, graduates will have access to additional job placement supports through a provider referral network.   

Use the purchasing specifications below to encumber funds for this training program. We do not handle housing for PATHS. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange housing. For more information regarding housing, please visit our resources page. Service Authorizations for the Fall semester will be need to submitted via email to Riley Biffle at The recommended submission deadlines are:

Fall -  begins in July

Spring - December 



Fall Semester



TAMU Certificate and Non-Degree Programs






Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS) Certificate Program Classroom Training






Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS) Certificate Program Books and Materials








Spring Semester







Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS) Certificate Program Practicum













Page last updated: December 14, 2017 - 3:11pm