Applications for the next PATHS Certificate Program will be accepted starting November 1, 2023 and ending on March 1, 2024.

Application Process

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 students who are passionate about and genuinely interested in these fields.

Make a checklist

  • Make sure you have submitted everything listed on the application checklist.
  • Your application will not be reviewed if there are missing items.

Filling out your application

  • The next application process will begin on November 1, 2022 . It will save for up to one month in the event you need to finish it later. This only works if you use the same computer each time.
  • The application deadline is is March 3rd, 2023.
  • PATHS application
  • Pay the application fee online

If you need assistance with the application, contact Tracy Glass.


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.

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) funds the majority of our students to attend the PATHS Program. If you have not already established a relationship with a TWC Counselor, please do so right away prior to applying to the program. TWC approval will need to be secured prior to the start of the program.


Make sure you give your two reference writers plenty of time to submit their online reference. Ask them if they will utilize our online form at least a month before the application deadline.

Possible references can be from:

  • Employer(s),
  • Teacher(s),
  • Counselor(s), or
  • Minister(s)/pastor(s).

References should not be family members. Your application will not be complete without your online references.

Submit your references


Submit your written essay, PowerPoint, or video in an approved format. You must upload your essay in an electronic format to your online application using the link provided on the application.

The essay process is not intended to be a barrier to successful enrollment, but an opportunity for the admissions committee to access the applicant’s commitment to pursue a career as a DSP-G, DSP-P, or CCP. The alternative formats serve as a method for people with limited writing abilities to communicate in their own way with their own level of skill.

Watch Callan Mannion’s video essay

Acceptable Essay Document Formats


Written Essay

  • Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
  • PDF (.pdf)

PDF is preferred.


  • .ppt or .pptx

PowerPoint presentations can be exported/downloaded in a .pdf format to decrease file size.


  • Windows Media Player (.wmv)
  • QuickTime (.mov)
  • Audio Video Interleave (.avi)

Additional Tips and Resources

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 are correct before you submit the application. We need to be able to contact you to schedule an interview; check your email regularly, as we will be emailing out important program news.

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 further discuss the program. The PATHS application committee seeks to admit people who have a commitment to complete the program and support people with disabilities as a career.

If you would like, a parent, TWC counselor, or other person may help you complete the application. Please make sure the words and ideas in the essay, PowerPoint, or video are your own.

In order to be eligible to apply, applicants must be at least 18 years of age by the time the program starts, they must be their own guardian, they must have either graduated from high school or have a GED, and they must be able to pass a criminal background check.