Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a waitlist for admission?

  • No. Admission is competitive. Not everyone who applies is admitted and not everyone who is admitted graduates.

What support is available to me in the program?

  • Tutoring (group and one-on-one)
  • Advisors
  • Instructional Aides
  • Office Hours and Independent Study classes
  • Modified and accommodated curriculum/assignments

Are there opportunities for inclusion & networking?

  • Yes! Students are required to attend various social, cultural, and volunteer activities and are encouraged to join student organizations.

Where are the practicum sites located?

  • Practicum sites can be either locally in the Bryan/College Station area or in students’ home towns

Is the Practicum paid or volunteer?

  • Both. Most are volunteer but some are paid depending on the partner site.

If I don’t get accepted, can I reapply later?

  • Absolutely. Typically, we have more applications than we have spots available. We cap our enrollment to 25 students.  There are several reasons a student may not be accepted.  A letter will be sent to the student letting them know why they were not accepted and what they can do differently next time to increase their odds of acceptance.

What are the requirements to graduate?

  • Students must pass each semester of the PATHS Program to be eligible to graduate. This means passing all assignments and all modules required for certification with at least 80% and completing all required practicum hours (480 minimum hours total for the program).

If I don’t pass a semester, can I repeat the semester I failed?

  • No. Any student who does not pass a semester will be dismissed from the program and will have to reapply and compete again for admission and start over if accepted again.

Is housing and meals provided?

  • Housing and meals are provided for Summer I ONLY where students are housed on-campus and meals are provided at on-campus establishments. After Summer I, students are required to choose off-campus dorms in which to live and must buy their own meal plans for the duration of the program.

Do you provide Personal Care Attendants?

  • No. Students are training to care for others with significant needs, therefore, they will need to be physically capable of caring for not only their own needs, but also the needs of others.

What are reasons a student might be dismissed from the program?

  • The majority of students who are dismissed from the PATHS Program are dismissed because they did not pass due to failure to take advantage of the support we have in place to help them succeed OR due to serious behavior issues. PATHS has a compliance policy and students are given multiple chances to change behavior in most cases. Students can be dismissed immediately for serious behavior such as, but not limited to, violence, bullying, abuse of any kind (physical/verbal), cheating, stealing, or getting arrested.

Is a criminal background check required?

  • Yes. Students must pass a background check in order to be eligible to participate in the program. Because students will be required to pass background checks at their practicum sites and related places of employment, a student must have a clean record.

What is the cost to attend the PATHS Program?

  • Summer I = $15,050
  • Fall I = $6,419
  • Spring I = $6,069
  • Summer II = $11,507
  • Fall II = $6,185
  • Spring II = $6,185

Is there a payment plan for those not receiving financial support?

  • Yes. You may contact the Program Manager to arrange a payment plan. Payments will be expected to be paid in full prior to the beginning of the semester before the student will be eligible to proceed to the next semester.

What financial resources are available to assist with the cost of the program?

  • The majority of students are funded through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). If you do not already have an established relationship with a TWC Counselor, you are encouraged to go ahead and seek assistance from them prior to applying to the PATHS Program. In many cases, TWC will pay for most, if not all, program fees and housing.  Your local TWC Counselor can give you more information.  Another option would be to apply for scholarships through non-profits, workplaces, or churches.

Do you accept federal funding available through FAFSA?

  • Not at this time. We will be working toward a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) status now that our two-year program expansion has been approved. A CTP designation will allow us to accept federal funds.

What course credits will I earn from the PATHS Program?

  • You will not receive regular college credits from us. Our curriculum and coursework are customized for DSP or CCP training and are nationally recognized by the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and Texas A&M Agrilife. Upon graduation, you will receive a PATHS certificate in recognition of your successful completion of the program in addition to other certifications earned while in the program.

Can I apply for the PATHS program if I have a disability?

  • The PATHS program is an inclusive program which trains students with and without disabilities to become Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and Child Care Professionals (CCPs).

What will I learn in the PATHS program?

  • Students will learn both essential and advanced knowledge and skills in the program. Core classes include the Role of a Direct Support Professional or Childcare Professional, Contemporary Best Practices, CPR and First Aid, Abuse/Neglect/Exploitation, Confidentiality, Documentation, Medication Management, History of Disability, Self-Determination and Disability Rights, Basic Computer Skills, etc. Advanced classes include Person-Centered Thinking and Planning, Community Inclusion, Community Resources and Services, Assistive Technology, Support Communication, Support Friendships and Relationships, Positive Behavior Supports, Crisis Prevention and Intervention, etc.