Connect and Engage - A Partnership for Growth

Juan Godoy

At the SALT Center, we know that engagement with campus resources and faculty is key to a successful college experience. While the UA campus may be large, we are well placed to help students navigate the countless opportunities before them. Our team of Strategic Learning Specialists plays a pivotal role in getting students connected and moving forward.

When it comes to helping students discover engagement opportunities, Strategic Learning Specialists often focus most intensely on freshmen since they’ll likely be living on campus during their first year and will have the most need to get connected to resources. For example, we might encourage them to use intensive tutoring during the first couple of semesters to help them get acclimated to the rigors of university-level work. We can push them to develop independent ways of obtaining help such as meeting with instructors or teaching assistants during office hours. We will also help them get in touch with the Disability Resource Center where they can receive academic accommodations they might require.

As students advance past their first year, their needs evolve as they begin to take the upper division classes specific to their majors. During this phase, we consistently reach out to students to remind them of the importance of continuing to engage in every way possible. Some students at the upper division get to benefit from taking a similar sequence of courses with familiar classmates who have followed them since they were officially admitted into their major. For these students, taking the opportunity to learn more efficient ways of internalizing information is a great way to further engage in their discipline. This new-found knowledge will help them feel more confident and build connections for future team projects.

Throughout all their years on campus, our Strategic Learning Specialists strive to help students discover the best ways for them to engage, which can take many forms. Oftentimes it will develop into an opportunity to work, get an internship or study abroad. Regardless of the path a student takes, the key for us is to continue having conversations about how they are engaging. Are they engaged with their studies? To what degree? Are they fine with just getting an answer or do they take engagement a step further and make sure they are understanding the concepts behind the answers?

Our hope is that the principle of engagement will follow our students into the workforce where they will continue to interact with their environment in a confident and inquisitive manner applying what they learned while they were students enrolled in the SALT Center.