The Autism Program at Ancilla College (APAC)

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About 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.


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.  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.  APAC will enhance the quality of campus life and increase the potential for career and/or future academic success. 


  • 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 typically not 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 little 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.

Click Here for APAC Program Highlights