COVID-19 Information


During this challenging time, the PATHS Program at Texas A&M University’s focus is on safely supporting our students, families, staff, and the local communities in which we operate.  We are continuously working to avoid disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, while at the same time acting responsibly to do what we can to prevent further spread of the virus and keep our students and staff safe.  Our plan for our next cohort, beginning Summer 2021, is to move forward with the development of a two-year face-to-face program, pending approval from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), and is also dependent upon the status of the pandemic.  Transitioning back to a face-to-face model is our goal unless the safety of our students and staff is compromised.  In case of COVID disruptions, we will provide the students with either an online alternative or hybrid model in which the students will have the option for either face-to-face instruction or online instruction.  Depending on the changing severity of the pandemic and revised university protocols, the PATHS Program could transition to an online only format at any time.  We will continue to closely monitor and assess the evolving situation and will be diligent about communicating on important issues.  Please know that at all times, the well-being of our students and staff is our top priority and every decision we make to alter the program will be with this in mind.

Application Tips

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 Application Checklist.

Your application will not be reviewed if there are missing items.

Filling out your application

You may start your online application beginning Monday, November 2 2020 . 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 Sunday, February 28, 2021. 

If you need assistance with the application, contact Jessica Dees.


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.


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 essay, PowerPoint, video, or audio recording in an approved format. Please follow the essay guidelines. You can upload your essay to your online application or mail your essay to us.

PATHS Program at Texas A&M University
4225 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4225

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 alternate formats serve as a method for people with limited writing abilities to communicate in their own way with their own level of skill.

Acceptable Essay Document Formats

Written essay

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

PDF is preferred.


  • .ppt or .pptx


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

Please submit files on a flash drive or provide a URL to view the video.


  • .wav
  • .wma
  • .mp3



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. The essay, references, and interview components of the application process are critical to the successful employment of the applicant and securing an ongoing pool of employers who recognize PATHS graduates as exceptional individuals and DSPs.

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, video, or audio recording are your own.

Only applicants who are their own legal guardian are eligible to apply. 

Learn more.