IUP Labyrinth Center Welcomes Visitors from Clemson University

Posted on 5/1/2017 7:22:22 AM

The IUP Labyrinth Center, located in the College of Education and Educational Technology, welcomed colleagues from Clemson University on March 15, 2017, to share their approaches.

The IUP Labyrinth Center was created during the spring semester of 2016 to support the growing number of students at IUP admitted with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Co-directors Joann Migyanka and Becky Knickelbein created the program that includes four separate components designed to meet the needs of our students with ASD.

Colleges and universities across the country are recognizing that the services available to all students with disabilities are not sufficient to meet the needs of students with ASD, even though they possess strong academic abilities. There are currently 41 programs nation-wide, and IUP is one of four universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education system to offer these support services.

The IUP Labyrinth Center currently offers students a credit-bearing seminar course each semester, supervised study hours, weekly academic and life coaching, and peer and faculty mentoring. IUP’s peer mentors are trained specifically to be able to assist the students in the Labyrinth Center.

This spring, Clemson University reached out to IUP’s Labyrinth Center to learn more about their success. Representatives from Clemson included Stephen Lance, executive director of the Clemson Youth Learning Institute Headquarters and Educational Center; William Edwards, director of the Center for Behavior Analysis; and Margaret Camp, director of the Office for Student Accessibility Services. The  purpose of their visit to IUP was to meet with Labyrinth co-directors to learn about the program components and the process of starting a new support center on their campus.

The group discussed the logistics of getting a center operational and the philosophy behind IUP’s center. Knickelbein and Migyanka shared the Labyrinth design and their experiences over the past one and a half years working to address the needs of our students with the ultimate goal of providing them independence and success at IUP.

Labyrinth Center-Clemson VisitThe group from Clemson is planning to continue communication with the Labyrinth Center as they go through their own developmental stages, and Clemson has invited Migyanka and Knickelbein to visit the Clemson campus as their planning proceeds.