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About our Director

The Director of the Autism Program at Ancilla College is Kristen Robson.

Robson has had several years of experience working with adults with disabilities at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania. First, as an undergraduate intern and later as a graduate student, Robson has focused on teaching academic and social skills to individuals with various disabilities. Currently, Kristen is working as a Behavior Specialist Consultant at the Achievement Center and adjunct professor at Mercyhurst.

kristen robson autism

Kristen Robson

Working specifically with individuals on the Autism Spectrum, Robson continued to assist with developing academic and social skills required 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 with a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst the following fall.

According to recent national studies, about 2 percent of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with some type of Autism Spectrum Disorder. But, according to the National Autism Indicators Report of 2015, only 36 percent of young adults diagnosed with autism ever attend college or vocational-technical schools.

indiana center autism educationLast Fall, Ancilla College was awarded a grant from the Ball Brothers Venture Fund, in collaboration with the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), to begin developing a program at the college. The grant allowed the college to begin training staff last year and the center will develop a series of web-based resources for soon-to-be high school graduates on the autism spectrum. Information and training resources will be shared with faculty and staff at other ICI campuses.

The grant is the first step in Ancilla’s long-term plan to create an on-campus center for autism education that will train and educate high school graduates on the spectrum.

The college hopes to develop and extend a program for students to learn how to thrive in college with developmental programs specific to their needs and skills.