What is the Bridge to Career program?
The Bridge to Career program is a post-secondary training support program offered by the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University. This program provides qualifying students with developmental disabilities access to a post-secondary education program along with special educational supports, which will prepare them for employment in the field of health and human services, specifically to become Direct Support Professionals.
What does the Bridge to Career program offer?
The Bridge to Career program provides excessive trainings and various assistances to support students to be successful in the PATHS program, which include wrap-around meetings, summer pre-college training program, mentor support, transportation assistance, housing and meal assistance, assistive technology support, and other educational supports.
What is the summer pre-college training program?
The summer program is a four-week training program starting in June, which prepares students in variety of areas, such as transportation, independent living, study skills and assistive technology. Students will stay in dorms and go to classes on campus and attend other trainings outside the classrooms as well. Students will learn about taking Texas A&M and Bryan/College Station public buses, campus facilities (e.g., classrooms, library, and gym), independent living skills (e.g., organizational skills, money management, health and safety, time management, laundry and cooking), self-determination, communication, and professionalism.
Are there scholarships available for the summer pre-college training program?
The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) has provided funding to support ten students with developmental disabilities per year. These scholarships are based on economic need and the applications are included in the student acceptance packets.
Is there a payment plan for those who are not receiving support from an outside organization?
Yes, we are able to split the program fee into two payments. The first payment is due one week before B2C begins. The second payment is due two weeks before the program ends. Please contact Riley Biffle at email@example.com if you would like to set up a plan.
We have signed up for a payment plan, how do I make my payments?
Payments may be made online with a credit or e-check or you can send a check/money order by mail. Checks are made out to Texas A&M University and are mailed to:
Bridge to Career
Attn: Riley Biffle, PATHS Program Assistant
College Station, TX
What is the wrap-around meeting for?
The wrap-around meeting is designed to identify needs and resources for the student to be successful in the program, which uses Person-Centered Thinking. The student is asked to lead the meeting and invite whoever is important and can provide support to him/her. Participants usually consist of a lead staff from PATHS, a mentor, a TWC counselor, a lead staff from Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living (BVCIL), parents/guardians, and other family members or friends. At the meeting, we will discuss about the student’s short-term goals, long-term goals, and strengths and needed support. Specific tasks, steps, support person and timelines will be sketched.
Is there mentor support?
Each student will have a college mentor, who is a typical college student that has special education background or other educational backgrounds. The mentor will work with the student on a daily basis based on individual needs and support the student to achieve their goals during the program.
Who is qualified for the Bridge to Career program?
Any student is qualified for the Bridge to Career program. Students with a developmental disability may qualify for a scholarship through TCDD. Please click the link to review the definition of “developmental disability” by TCDD: http://www.tcdd.texas.gov/resources/what-is-developmental-disability/. Commonly referred disabilities include Intellectual Disabilities, Autism, Down syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy.
How do I apply for the Bridge to Career program?