CALES Learning Lab: Powered by the SALT Center

You can learn to be your best learner. Sound strange? It’s true! Like professional athletes, trained musicians, or skilled artisans, mastering a skill at your highest level doesn’t happen overnight. This type of success is built on years of training, experience, falling – and getting back up again.

Learning is that way too. Learners, like you, can refine and elevate their ability to understand, comprehend, and communicate. Where does your journey to learning success begin? For students in the College of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences, you’ll start with the CALES Learning Lab: Powered by the SALT Center.

Connect with a CALES Learning Coach - either by appointment or a workshop - to develop success goals, build skill with proven academic strategies and learn to learn better. Work with a Learning Coach to build skills in organizing course material; time management; goal setting; study, reading and writing strategies and so much more!

CALES Learning Coaches

Shawnda Garcia, Learning Coach

Schedule an appointment in CatCloud 

Location: Forbes Building, Suite 204



Matt Swanson, Learning Coach

Schedule an appointment in CatCloud

Location: Forbes Building, Suite 204





Learn More

Upcoming Workshops

September 2023

October 2023 

November 2023

Note Taking

  • Pay attention
    • Prepare to listen, pick seat with fewest distractions
    • Format your notebook/laptop for note taking
  • Listen for the lecture’s objective
    • Think about how information will be organized/presented
  • Retrieve information from prior learning
    • Remember past terminology, main points
    • Connect topic with past associations
  • Try to detect the organization for the lecture
    • Is it cause/effect, comparison/contrast, explanation?
    • Alternate your words with lecture’s words
  • Listen for verbal cues
    • Listen for “note the following”, “this is important”
    • Use mnemonics
  • Think of sample questions/problems during the lecture
    • Correct any inaccuracies that you can detect immediately

Looking for a new note taking strategy?
Give two-column notes a try for the next few weeks.

Time Management

Anytime is a good time to reflect on your courses and academic experience:

  • How have you done with time management?
  • Do you find yourself missing classes or assignments?
  • Or do you find yourself spending all your time trying to keep your head above water with no time to enjoy campus life?

One strategy to plan for the rest of the semester? Use a time management grid, like this one. It takes less than 10 minutes to fill out but will offer a ton of support in this semester.

  • Fill in all classes
  • Fill in all weekly commitments (clubs, study sessions, sports activities)
  • Fill in breakfast, lunch, and dinner


  • Download and fill out the Semester-on-a-Page and look for gaps in your day to schedule homework, reading, and fun. Before committing to anything, look at your grid to determine if you truly have the time.
  • Curious how to make the Semester-on-a-Page work for you? Watch this video!