College? You've Got This

Carolina Ragano

SALT Center Launches Pre-College Summer Program

“When need arises, we step forward and fill the void that some did not even know existed.” – Dr. Eleanor Harner, Founder of the SALT Center

The SALT Center helps hundreds of UA students overcome their learning and attention difficulties in order to become successful college graduates. In recent years, the quality of student preparedness for college has become a growing concern around the country. To help alleviate this problem, the SALT Center launched a pre-college summer program for high school students and graduates to help prepare them for college, the SALT way.

Months of planning, marketing, and curriculum development gave way to the inaugural session of the SALT Center Pre-College Summer Program. It was hosted at San Diego State University – students and faculty stayed in residence halls, utilized SDSU facilities for classes during the week, and explored San Diego on the weekends. The class of 29 students ranged from 16-19 years old, and came from a variety of regions across the United States.

The Summer Program gave students a taste of college life in a controlled environment. To accomplish this, faculty chose to implement a balance of learning, skill-building, and fun in their curriculum designs. Students also had time to set and reflect on their goals, and discover their unique motivations for learning:

“During the Summer Program, I learned the important skill of balancing a super-busy college schedule so that I can get my work done and still have time to go out and have fun. This program has really given me an edge over students who didn’t attend because I understand how to balance my time, and I got a taste of dorm life.” – David, Summer Program Participant

In order to mimic the college experience, students took a full course load throughout the week, and participated in extra-curricular clubs, such as guitar, sports, and digital photography. Faculty and students connected outside of the classroom during tutoring sessions and meetings with their Learning Specialists, just as they would at the SALT Center at the University of Arizona. The Learning Specialists helped students with organizational and study skills, time management, and other executive functions that are important in college. Tutoring gave students the extra help they needed to succeed academically:

“The Summer Program has taught me so much about myself, and that I can do things that I thought I couldn’t.” – Rena, Summer Program Participant

Students learned a lot about themselves, but the Summer Program presented a learning curve for their families, as well. For many, this was the first time that their student had traveled alone or stayed away from home for an extended period of time. Moreover, it was the first time their student would have to advocate for themselves without a family member present. Despite these challenges, families told us that they were so grateful for the Summer Program because it helped them learn how to better support their students as they transition into college:

“I learned that she’s eager for more social interaction with peers, specifically with peers who have something in common with her. I learned that she may need to be reminded that she will have resources available in college that she can utilize, and I learned to think more carefully about what to look for in a university.” – Parent of Summer Program Participant

With the success of our first SALT Center Pre-College Summer Program, we look forward to making it a permanent fixture of our services and support:

“The Summer Program was a great way to experience what college is like before attending… I hope that SALT continues this program in the future.” – Peter, Summer Program Participant

NEED A COACH? ADHD/Life Coaching is a partnership that increases self-awareness and encourages goal-directed behaviors for students with learning challenges in order to maximize their personal potential. The SALT Center offers stand-alone coaching services for pre-college and college students throughout the world. For more information, please contact Rudy Molina at

Principle 4: Individuals have the potential to grow in ways that they never thought possible and to exceed their own expectations. We challenge you to aspire to the highest possible level of achievement.

To apply for Summer Program 2014, visit our website at

The application will be posted this fall.