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History of SLAC

The Student Learning Assistance Center originated in 1973 as a laboratory for an undergraduate psychology course in reading and studying skills. The course was created as a cooperative venture between the Psychology Department, chaired at the time by Dr. Theron Stimmel, and the Counseling Center, directed by Dr. Vernon Zunker. Dr. De Sellers (Johnson), who eventually served as Dean of the College of General Studies at SWT, was hired to teach the course and create the learning lab, which she named the Reading and Study Skills Center. As part of the Counseling Center, the learning lab was housed in a tiny classroom on the first floor of Old Main from 1973 to 1977.
Although the Reading and Study Skills Center remained part of the Counseling Center under the Dean of Students and Academic Services, in 1977 it was physically relocated to a larger facility on the third floor of the University Library, then housed in the J.C. Kellam Building. By this time learning assistance centers (LACs) were gaining national acceptance at colleges and universities, so the center changed its name to the Student Learning Assistance Center, or SLAC, and moved again to a more permanent home in the library on the fifth floor of J.C. Kellam. On September 1, 1979, SLAC changed reporting lines from the Counseling Center and the division of Student Academic Services to become part of the Learning Resources Center in the University Affairs division. Organizationally, SLAC's reporting lines changed again when the Learning Resources Center moved to the division of Academic Affairs on June 1, 1982. When the College of General Studies opened on September 1, 1983, SLAC's reporting lines shifted once more. On May 1, 1990, SLAC, along with the Learning Resources Center, moved into the newly completed Albert B. Alkek Library. Today SLAC continues as a program in the Academic Affairs division and occupies approximately one quarter of the fourth floor of the Alkek Library.