TUCSON, Ariz. — University of Arizona’s SALT Center supports students with mild to moderate learning and attention challenges. The SALT Center serves about 700 students.
“They may have trouble in a particular content area, they may need a little extra time to organize and process information. So these are mostly students who have had an IEP or 504 plan in high school,” said Gabrielle Miller, the SALT Center’s executive director.
Miller says the vast majority of the program’s students are freshmen and sophomores.
“By the time they get to the end of their sophomore year, most of our students say, ‘I got this. We’re good to go,’ and they know we’re always here, but we consider that a win,” said Miller.
The SALT Center supports university students in three ways:
- Personal support by assigning each student a specialist they can go to,
- Academic support, such as drop-in labs or one-on-one tutoring,
- And counseling and psychological support.
“We get a lot of calls from other universities to try to replicate the SALT Center, because it works. More than 80-percent of our students are in good academic standing,” said Miller.
Miller says the program is not a pass, the students work hard, and it’s the combination of the environment of the University of Arizona.
“The SALT Center is effective because we’re at the University of Arizona. And I know that sounds like hyperbole, but it’s really not,” said Miller.
She credits the founder of the SALT Center from 40 years ago, President Dr. Robert Robbins, and partnerships with the separate colleges on campus. A donor recently gifted the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences $1M that the college is using to collaborate with the SALT Center.
“But the goal is, get our services out to the colleges and get students the help they need as quickly as possible. And Dean Burgess and his team are incredible. They get it, they’re excited. We’re so excited about this gift. And of course, the donor, to be able to see the possibilities is just stunning,” said Miller.