About Us

PATHS stands for Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services. The PATHS Certificate Program prepares individuals for jobs as Direct Support Professionals and Child Care Professionals. 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. Upon completing the summer program and two semesters at the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University’s College of Education and Human Development, participants earn a certificate that combines classroom instruction with practical career building experiences. 

People who have a sincere career goal to support people with disabilities, older people in community, working with the school districts or working with children in child care settings should apply to be considered for admission to the PATHS Certificate Program.  Successful candidates in the program will participate in the summer program and take one semester of required coursework. During the second semester, our goal is that PATHS students will be placed in a supervised practicum in our community. Students are on-site, learning hands-on skills to prepare them for their career. PATHS instructors provide a broad base of training based on professional experience.

Bridge to Career* and PATHS Courses 

Summer Courses*:

  • Self Determination
  • Professionalism 
  • Skills to Pay the Bills
  • Healthy Choices & Cooking
  • Budgeting
  • Assistive Technology
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Study Skills
  • Community Day
  • Volunteer Day
  • Weekly RA Topics

Fall Courses:

  • DSP-General Content
  • Child Care Content
  • Para-Professional Content
  • Professionalism 
  • Field-Based Experience Practicum Preparation 
  • Communication Through Movement
  • Healthy Relationships

Independent Study:

  • Attend each week with instructional assistants  


  • Five hours per week at assigned location for a total of 30 hours
  • Additional community opportunities throughout the semester


  • Connected to Practicum Preparation
  • At least two observations performed throughout the semester

Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living (BVCIL):

  • Two BVCIL Events each week (money management; cooking; assistive technology, etc.)


  • Person Centered Practices  TAMU CDD
  • CPR/First Aid – TAMU EMS
  • Communication Workshops – TAMU PhD Students
  • Benefits Counseling – BVCIL
  • Medicaid Waivers – BVCIL
  • TAMU Disability Services Presentations
  • TAMU Career Center Presentations and Workshops
  • TAMU Student Life Health Promotion Presentations and Workshops

Spring Semester:

  • Fifteen hours per week at assigned location for a totla of 135 practicum hours 
  • Core Competency Course


*Bridge to Career participation is a prerequisite for participating in the PATHS Program.