About Us

The Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS) Certificate Program prepares individuals for jobs as Direct Support Professionals and Child Care Professionals. Students attend a 4-week summer program as a prerequisite to the PATHS Program. This enables students, with help from staff members, to determine whether the program is a good fit for their career aspirations. 

Upon completing the summer program and two semesters at the Center on Disability and Development, participants earn a certificate that combines classroom instruction with hands-on career building experiences.

Students who have career aspirations to support people with disabilities, older community citizens, work with school districts or with children in child care settings are strongly encouraged to apply to the PATHS program. Successful candidates will participate in the summer program and take one semester of required coursework. During the second semester, our goal is to place PATHS students in a supervised practicum in the community. Students will be on-site learning hands-on skills to prepare them for their career. PATHS instructors provide a broad and unique base of training based on their 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

Independent study students will 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)

Students must attend 2 BVCIL events each week (e.g. money management, cooking, assistive technology).

Training Sessions
  • 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 Courses
  • Fifteen hours per week at assigned location for a total of 135 practicum hours 
  • Core Competency Course

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