RWSS Lab to close

Alyssa McCauley and Martha Hoffman

Despite protests, the IVCC board decided Feb. 9 to close the Reading, Writing and Study Skills Lab, beginning with the summer session, partly because of the lack of funds coming from the state due to the budget crisis.

“English classes were a nightmare for me; the English lab was a miracle for me. Thanks to the experience of the IVCC instructors, I am now able to express myself,” said IVCC student Daniel Sack.

Stephanie Castaneda addressed the board as a caretaker for her sister Natalie, who is bound to a wheelchair.

“[The RWSS lab] has been essential to her success,” Castaneda said. “Without this lab, I’m not sure if she will go to school at IVCC because this has been so helpful to her.”

Students who decide to go back to school or students who do not place into college level classes have had the opportunity to take independently-paced, one-on-one classes in the RWSS Lab. In addition, the lab hosts a number of one-credit hour courses for time management and study skills.

However, despite the protests, the board voted unanimously to close the lab and reassign full-time lab instructor Jennifer Bubb to the classroom.

Board member David Mallery said the data showed no difference between outcomes from regular classroom instruction and the lab courses for the remedial courses, and with Illinois’ funding issue, it was financially necessary to close it.

“Not a decision I like making. We have no other choice really,”said board member Larry Huffman. Administrators have said the cost of the lab is “unsustainable” and that the courses offered in the lab can be offered in a less-expensive format by moving the courses to the regular classroom.

The board said they have been forced to look at cost-cutting measures because the state has not fully funded IVCC for the past two years.