An open house and ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday morning to usher in a new chapter to the array of specialized programs that Ancilla College offers its students. The Autism Program at Ancilla College (APAC) will help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to build social and workplace skills along with academic and real-world knowledge.
Students with ASD may have superior intellectual ability but are challenged in social situations or have a communication gap. The APAC will allow growth in these aspects as the students gather skills in their post-secondary education.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch addressed those in attendance stating that Ancilla College has a model program that can be replicated across other institutions.
“One of Ancilla College’s values is to serve the underserved,” stated Lt. Gov. Crouch. “It is the first two-year college to offer an ASD-specific residential program in Indiana. Support programs as Autism Program at Ancilla College can result in substantial improvements in social interaction and enhance talents of those with ASD.”
She also noted that she hired a worker with ASD while working as the auditor of the State of Indiana and that worker now works for her as she serves the state as the lieutenant governor.
Kristen Robson is the APAC Director. She said the students will have the opportunity to reside at The Lake House in a serene location on the campus of Ancilla College.
Ancilla College President Dr. Ken Zirkle also spoke along with Todd Zeltwanger and representatives for Senator Joe Donnelly and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ were in attendance to give spiritual guidance toward the effort.
The Autism Program at Ancilla College is now ready to welcome students for the fall semester.