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APAC – The Autism Program at Ancilla College

The Autism Program at Ancilla College (APAC) is a fee-based, college level program designed to assist students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder build academic independent, social and workplace skills and knowledge. APAC is intended for student who may struggle with communication and social interactions in an educational environment, but are also academically capable of perusing a college level education.

Check out all things happening at Ancilla College in our APAC Program!

APAC Open House

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM (EDT).

Join us for the APAC Open House where you will be able to ask questions and get all the answers you need as well as:

  • Learn About the Autism Program at Ancilla College (APAC)
  • Hear About Our Majors
  • Speak to Admissions Counselors
  • Meet the Faculty and Staff
  • Take a Tour of Ancilla College
  • And Much More!

APAC Webinars

Tuesday, March 26th at 1:00 PM*

Tuesday, April 2nd at 11:00 AM*

Monday, May 20th at 11:00 AM*

*All times are Eastern Daylight Time

Join Director of APAC, Kristen Robson, BCBA, as she highlights both the perks to attending Ancilla College after high school AND components of the APAC program.

Still unable to attend? You should still register! Recordings of the webinar will be sent to all registrants.

APAC Shadowing Day

Monday, April 8, 2019  9:00 AM – 3:30 PM (EDT)

High school students with ASD considering college are invited to spend the day touring Ancilla.

  • Sit in on multiple college courses
  • Eat in the dining hall
  • Meet current students
  • Take a tour of Ancilla College
  • Learn about the Autism Program at Ancilla College (APAC)

Absentee notes will be given for school.

Click Here to Request a Speaker

Invite a speaker to talk about the Autism Program at Ancilla College (APAC) with your school, organization, or group!

Mission & Vision

The Mission of the Autism Program at Ancilla College (APAC) is to support highly capable college students on the Autism Spectrum and to give faculty and staff the resources for providing a supportive campus community.  APAC will enhance the quality of campus life and increase the potential for career and/or future academic success.  It embraces the core values of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (PHJC) including openness of spirit, community, simplicity, dignity and respect, which follow from joyful services to all, especially the underserved. 

The Vision of APAC

  • Ancilla College will provide a challenging and engaging environment for capable college students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  • Ancilla College will provide highly trained faculty and staff to support students in APAC.
  • Ancilla College will be a leader in providing support and resources nationwide to college personnel who work with students with ASD.

Historically, individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have had difficulties succeeding in the college environment.  Hardships were not typically due to course content, but rather deficits in “soft skills” such as executive functioning and interacting with peers and professors.  Students with ASD have also encountered extreme stressors with managing various independent needs such as self-advocacy.  Unfortunately, until recently there have been very few resources for students struggling with skills unrelated to direct classroom coursework.  Slowly, colleges and universities have begun to work towards identifying such at-risk students and developing services to help support and educate them in regards to these extra skills required to successfully navigate the college experience.

In the fall of 2017, the Autism Program at Ancilla College (APAC) welcomed its first cohort of students to the school.  Through attending to the individual needs of its students and using evidence-based procedures and programming, APAC focuses on teaching skills required for success at college as well as prepare participants for life after Ancilla. 

Program Highlights

The Autism Program at Ancilla College (APAC) focuses on the student’s needs outside of the classroom.  With an emphasis on academics, independent living, social skills, and vocational preparations, APAC offers a comprehensive model to guide and assist students through their time at Ancilla College.

Academics

APAC closely monitors participants’ progress towards course completion and graduation.  Such supports include, but are not limited to:

  • Regular meetings with APAC staff to review academic progress.
  • Consultation with faculty and staff focusing on individual strengths as well as skill development needs.
  • Collaboration with writing lab, math lab, tutoring and testing centers.
  • Personal Goal Plans and data monitoring for targeted behaviors/skills.
  • Use of behavior analytic interventions to address concerns such as on-time attendance, on-time assignment completion, class participation, etc.

ASD Housing (Optional)

APAC offers on-campus housing to fit the needs of individuals in the program.  This component of the program includes:

  • Development of independent skills such as basic housekeeping skills and living with a roommate, etc.
  • Single room accommodations in the residence halls*
  • APAC events: pizza parties, movie nights, etc. intended specifically for smaller and calmer social settings.

*At an additional fee

Note that this component is optional. Students can also opt to commute from nearby. However, it is important to note that opting out of housing from the start may inhibit a student’s ability to access them at a later date, as rooms for this option are limited.

Social

APAC provides social instruction geared towards skills required for success at Ancilla and beyond.

  • Routine, evidence-based skills lessons
  • Focus on skills essential for college success.
  • Explicit in-vivo practice/training of skills for real world application.

Vocational

Participants prepare for life after Ancilla by practicing skills crucial for success in their areas of interest.

  • Career exploration/research
  • Practice interviews
  • Focus on critical interpersonal skills based on career choice, and faculty/staff feedback.
  • Mock apartment searching, relocation considerations, etc.
Staff

The Director of APAC – Kristen Robson

Kristen Robson began her work with adults with disabilities in higher education as an undergraduate.  She first interned for the O.A.S.I.S. program at Mercyhurst North East Campus, Pennsylvania.  There, she focused on teaching such individuals academic and social skills required for a successful career in the culinary field.  Kristen continued her work with adults with disabilities as a graduate assistant for Mercyhurst University’s AIM program.  Focusing specifically on individuals with ASD, she continued to assist in developing academic and social skills vital for successful employment after graduation.  Throughout that time, she has contributed to the study of effective interventions for adults with disabilities and has presented findings at conferences such as the Pennsylvania Association for Behavior Analysis and the Association for Behavior Analysis International.  In 2015, she graduated from Mercyhurst University with a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst the following fall.  Recently, Kristen moved to Indiana to begin working with Ancilla College to develop and implement a program to support college students with ASD.

The Application Process

Below you will find the guidelines, as well as the two-step application process for the Autism Program at Ancilla College.

APAC Specific Requirements

This application is designed to assist APAC Staff in evaluating the educational and psychological background as well as career goals, and unique qualities of the applicant to help ensure an appropriate fit. To be considered for admission into the APAC program, applicants must also be accepted to Ancilla College. The following applications and supporting documents must also be completed and submitted. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

• Application for the APAC program
• Psychological Evaluation dated within the past three years
• A copy of IEP/504 plan (if applicable)
Teacher Recommendation Form (Click to View)
• Visit Ancilla College and meet with APAC staff

Step 1: General Admission Application Form

Application for Ancilla College can be done online, at no cost by clicking this link: Apply Here

Step 2: The APAC Application Form

Once you have completed the general admissions application, you will need to fill out the application to APAC below.

After your application is completed, we will contact you to set up a meeting and student interview. The director of the program will meet with parents and the student to clarify program details, answer questions, assess college interests and evaluate suitability for the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does APAC have a fee and are there scholarships available?

APAC does have an additional fee on top of tuition, and room and board. Currently, there are scholarships specific to APAC to help offset these costs. Find scholarships by Clicking Here.

Does my child’s/(my) IEP transfer to college, or what sorts of resources are available?

Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) do not transfer into the college world.  However, submitting such documentation to APAC or a school’s office of disabilities may grant access to accommodations protected by ADA such as: extra time on tests, quiet test taking space, or assistive technologies.  Please contact APAC or the Student Success Center regarding questions about specific accommodations.

How involved can I, as a parent, expect to be if my child is in APAC?

APAC promotes the development of self-advocacy and independence skills in its students.  That being said, sometimes we all need help/advise from our parents.  APAC staff also understand that parents will always worry about their babies.  Feel free to contact APAC staff with any questions or concerns, but don’t be offended if APAC insists on the student (with assistance from APAC staff) navigating his/her resources to find the answers or resolve situations.

My child/(I) receive counseling/therapy related services through another agency, should he/she/(I) continue them while in APAC?

Absolutely.  APAC offers a ton of support for its students, but it does not have an on-site counselor or therapist.  Besides, if possible, it would be better to stick with someone who already knows a lot about the student.  If desired, APAC can work with the counselor/therapist on addressing the individual needs of the student.

Does my child/(Do I) have to live in campus housing?

No, Housing are an optional component to the program, though highly recommended. Students can opt commute from nearby. However, it is important to note that opting such accommodations from the start may inhibit a student’s ability to access Housing at a later date, as these rooms are limited.

Since Ancilla College is a Catholic institution, will my child/(I) be required to attend services.

No.  There is no spiritual component required in attending Ancilla College, although various services are offered for those who are interested.

APAC Resource Guide

THIS WEB RESOURCE HAS BEEN DEVELOPED WITH FUNDING PROVIDED BY THE BALL BROTHERS VENTURE FUND IN COLLABORATION WITH THE INDEPENDENT COLLEGES OF INDIANA

The Autism Program at Ancilla College: APAC

A college-level program to help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder to build social, workplace, and academic skills and knowledge.

APAC is designed for students who, while exhibiting superior intellectual ability, face serious challenges with communication, social interactions, and group educational settings. The APAC program is a residential, college-level program providing for the successful immersion of these unique students into a small, rural, supportive campus community.

Students enrolled in APAC will be provided access to a number of unique academic and social features. Students in the program pay an additional fee for these services.

 Click here to view resource guide. 

Kristen Robson, BCBA

Director of APAC
(574) 936-8898 ext. 364
kristen.robson@ancilla.edu

Kelly Manning

Admissions
(574) 936-8898 ext. 375
kelly.manning@ancilla.edu

Mail to:

Ancilla College
P.O. Box 1
Donaldson, IN 46513

Fax: (574) 935-1773

Apply to APAC

Once you have completed the general admissions application, you will need to fill out the application to APAC below.

After your application is completed, we will contact you to set up a meeting and student interview. The director of the program will meet with parents and the student to clarify program details, answer questions, assess college interests, and evaluate suitability for the program.

  • APAC Application

    This application is designed to assist APAC Staff in evaluating the educational and psychological background as well as career goals, and unique qualities of the applicant to help ensure an appropriate fit. To be considered for admission into the APAC program, applicants must also be accepted to Ancilla College. The following applications and supporting documents must also be completed and submitted. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed:
  • Date of birth (mm/dd/yyyy
  • (###) ###-####
    If yes, please provide supporting documentation.
  • (###) ###-####
  • Educational Information: Please provide official high school transcript.
  • Providing a safe and beneficial college experience is a primary goal of the program. Having relevant and accurate background information helps us know more about the student to better address individual needs. In addition, the information is needed to insure the safety of staff and of the other participants in the APAC program. The information requested will be kept confidential; only authorized staff members will have access to it.
  • Choose all that apply (hold the CTRL key down while making selections)
    If yes, please provide a copy to Ancilla College with application. Mail: PO Box 1, Donaldson IN 46513 Email: admissions@ancilla.edu Fax: 574-935-1773
  • Please provide a copy of most recent testing. It is preferred that this testing occurred within the past three years. nmm-dd-yyyy
  • Please check any behavioral concerns that are currently present, or have been present in the past 2 years: nnChoose all that apply (hold the CTRL key down while making selections)
    (Please note: If you answer “yes” to any of these criminal history questions, you must submit the following information: accurate explanation, location of conviction pending criminal charges, suspension(s), expulsion, dates and court disposition. This statement must also include a grant of irrevocable authorization to the APAC program for complete access to criminal records, if any. Complete information must be submitted at the time of application. A previous conviction, pending criminal charges or other expulsion or dismissal does not automatically bar admission to the APAC program, but does require review and evaluation.)nn Any program participant who has great difficulty in adjusting to this program or who proves to be a detriment to themselves or others may be discharged at the Director’s discretion.n
  • After submitting your application and supporting documents we will contact you to set up a meeting and student interview. The director of the program will meet with parents and the student to clarify program details, answer questions, assess college interests, and evaluate suitability for the program.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


OUR MISSION


Ancilla College is a liberal arts institution of higher learning sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and is part of The Center at Donaldson. The college’s religious tradition is Roman Catholic; its climate, ecumenical. In a caring environment, Ancilla serves a diverse population, as we transform and empower students to achieve high academic goals, lifelong learning, successful careers and values-centered lives.



ABOUT ANCILLA


Ancilla College, founded in 1937, is a private, Catholic, not-for-profit, two-year college offering over two dozen associate degree programs. Students from 12 states and 15 countries live and learn at Ancilla.


P.O. Box 1, 9601 Union Road, Donaldson, IN, 46513.


Call toll-free: 1.866.ANCILLA (866) 262-4552 or (574) 936-8898.


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