IVC Writing Center sharpens students skills

The Writing Center at IVC offers support to students who need to strengthen their writing skills. (Photo by churl, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license)

Evelyn Caicedo

According to the California Education Code Title 5, the requirements for classes must be connected to the corequisite courses.

The Writing Center at Irvine Valley College has corequisite courses that can only be taken at IVC. If an Irvine Valley College student is enrolled in English 280 (same as 300 or 200 at Saddleback) it becomes mandatory to enroll and to spend 24 hours at the Writing Center. It only becomes optional to register for the center when a student takes English 180.

Although sister schools, students at Saddleback College with an equivalent course could not join the Writing Center in Irvine.

The requirement is structured so that the center does not become a study hall, but for the students to be working on the curriculum and the course objectives.

IVC believes that the best method to improve a student’s writing skills is to work with an English instructor versus a volunteer tutor.

Linda Thomas, the center’s director, believes that in the student’s conference, the instructor enhances what is taught in the classroom so the students can have a better learning experience at the center.

“We hope that it is a consistent experience, so that the students learn to write at the academic level and are then ready to transfer,” said Thomas.

Aiding English instructors emphasize the practice of critical thinking, reading and writing skills during the conferences. And in order to keep organized, the students are regularly required to bring an assignment sheet, a signature form for the instructor to sign off, and to bring the assignment they will be working on.

“It is a great program and students are benefiting from it,” Thomas said. “We have put a lot of energy and resources into making this program useful.”

The center has been a part of IVC since the school essentially opened in 1979. The 300 building at IVC has already added other student academic support services such as the Reading Center and the Math Center. There is a plan to eventually dedicate the entire second floor of the building to tutorial services for a variety of subjects.

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