By Eric Fergason
When Devin Slack was looking at colleges, he knew he needed a school that would give him additional support for his learning challenge. He applied to the University of Arizona because the SALT Center would do just that: “My family and I searched high and low for institutions that provided good academic support, and, after touring two other campuses, I knew that the University of Arizona was 100% the place I wanted to go.”
Reflecting on the transition from high school to college, Devin describes the college experience as one continuous transition: “Having to go above and beyond on assignments, transitioning from general education classes to classes within my major…it all served as a wake up call.” One skill Devin knew he would need to learn quickly in order to manage this transition was time management. Working with his strategic learning specialist, Devin was able learn strategies to help him manage his course load, using tools like the “Semester at a Glance,” a one-page document outlining all every due date for each class that students can reference throughout the semester.
With his new-found time-management skills, Devin was encouraged and emboldened to get involved with extra-curricular clubs and activities. His strategic learning specialist recommended that he become a SALT Center Student Ambassador, which would give hime the opportunity to share his experiences with prospective students and families: “Working as a Student Ambassador at the SALT Center has really grown my confidence. It’s great being in a position where people are interested in my opinion.” Devin is even considering becoming a SALT Center tutor because of that confidence - he believes he can help other student who learn differently navigate the transition to college, just as the SALT Center helped him.
When he’s not giving tours at the SALT Center, Devin is usually studying. Majoring in Electrical Engineering, with a Math minor, he has plenty of schoolwork to keep him busy: “I like all of the material - it’s fascinating. It’s also nice to know there is a job waiting for me; that provides a little security.” While his fields of study might require that he be at the UA for an extra year, it doesn’t bother Devin in the least - “I love it here, so I don't mind taking another year. There is no point in rushing if your having a good time.”
Even though he’s just entering his junior year, Devin is already looking ahead. While the idea of working in a robotics lab after graduation is enticing, he’s also considering continuing his education: “Just recently, I got a letter from a professor asking me if I wanted to turn my Math minor into a major, and he was talking about me going to grad school. I hadn't really thought about it, but I kind of like the sound of ‘Dr. Slack’ - it has a good ring to it.”
Devin has made quite an impact in his short time at the SALT Center and the UA, and we are so grateful for his willingness to give back to our program as a Student Ambassador. This intelligent, dedicated, and gracious young man has an incredibly bright future ahead of him, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.