Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence

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Mansfield University Autism Resource Center

Mansfield University's Autism Resource Center is located in Retan Center at Mansfield University. Dr. Alison Polly is the director of the center. Goals of this program referral and coordination of services for local families, social skills instruction for adolescents with autism, and improving training for first responders through the University Police Academy program. Additionally, the program will offer two institute for adolescents for social skills, transition skills, and safety this summer.

Check out our programs:



Summer Institute Program

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Mansfield University is scheduling two summer institutes. These will be held 7/11/2022-7/14/2022. And 7/25/2022-7/28/2088 from 9:00am to 12 in Retan Center on the  Mansfield University campus.   These Institutes are intended to work on transition skills for those students on the

  • autism spectrum
  • other health impairments
  • mild sensory needs who receive learning support services or are fully included in the general education setting.

This is designed to work toward meeting the transition requirements of the IEP. Participants will address areas:

  • post-secondary options
  • independent living/safety without missing classroom time.

Social Skills areas will also be addressed using the PEERS curriculum. The Program for Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is a manualized, group-based social skills curriculum developed at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. It is designed to help participants with ASD, ADHD, and other social challenges make and keep friends. Some skills addressed through the curriculum are finding common interests, trading information, sharing the conversation as well as initiating, maintaining, and ending conversations, handling teasing and bullying, and using humor (

The areas of employment, independent living and post-secondary education will be addressed using the Choicemaker curriculum as well as other activities using materials developed by the Organization for Autism Research (OAR). University and community resources will be utilized when appropriate and needed.

Check out the tentative agenda.

Cost for this institute is $100 per student. Parents and school districts are invited to enroll students or to contact university staff to further explore this option.  Please contact Dr. Alison Polly at Mansfield University for further information (

Autism and Neurodiversity First Responder Training Program

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The Mansfield University Autism Resource Center is pleased to work with the Mansfield University Municipal Police Academy to integrate training related to working with neurodiverse populations to enhance community relations and experiences.

About the program:

One of the goals of the Mansfield University Autism Resource Center is to develop and enhance training for cadets as well as other first responders in meeting the needs of individuals diagnosed with autism when needed. This training will be developed by university staff and professors in conjunction with other community agencies. The academy currently has an autism training which is part of the academy requirements. This training has been credentialed; however, Mansfield University and the Academy recognize the need to expand on this information for academy graduates.

About the Mansfield University Police Academy:

Mansfield University’s Act 120 Municipal Police Academy is a 26-week course required to become a municipal police officer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Established in 1977, Mansfield University’s Academy is one of only 16 municipal police academies across Pennsylvania certified by the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOETC).

Therapeutic Lending Library

Coming Soon!


Our hub is excited to be joining the Tabletop Role Playing Group (TTRPG) and is partnering with several local agencies in the Mansfield area. You can learn about TTRPG initiative.


Where are we located?

 We are located at Mansfield University in the Retan Center. 

Contact us:

Alison Polly, EdD, BCBA-D

About our staff

Dr. Polly has worked in a number of local school districts as teacher, Special Education Supervisor, and Principal. She completed her doctoral work through Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She has also completed requirements for Board Certification as a Behavior Analyst. She has also worked as an adjunct for several colleges and universities. Areas of particular interest include the education of students who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and those who demonstrate challenging behavior. Dr. Polly is a graduate of Mansfield University. She has attended several other university programs such as Marywood University and Penn State University to complete different certification requirements. She completed her doctoral work through Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

A Special Thanks to the AllOne Foundation for their Partnership and Collaboration.