Latest budget cuts affect student resources on campus: Learning Assistance Center takes hit

By Jorge Vasquez

The Learning Assistance Center in E3-280 had its budget cut at the start of the year.

The center is now struggling to hire tutors said Learning Assistance Center and Language Lab Director Amanda Ryan-Romo.

The center helps students become independent learners through one-on-one or group tutoring sessions and offers sessions for multiple subjects such as Math, English, Life Science and other college-level courses.

Romo said that the center relies heavily on tutors to help students with studies, but the budget that was cut goes directly to paying those tutors.

She said the center received $59,000 this fall as opposed to the $68,000 funded last spring.

She also said that last pring, there were 29 paid tutors and four volunteers on staff.

Now there are only 21 paid tutors and seven volunteer tutors.

Economics is a subject no longer offered at the center because of the inability to keep the tutor. Ryan-Romo said that the center was booked most of last spring and had to turn away students, but now because of the lack of tutors, the center has to turn away even more students.

According to Ryan-Romo, during weekdays the LAC turns away three to four students a day. On Fridays, the number jumps to 11 to 12 students. She said that the center tries to accommodate all the students that walk in, but can’t because they’re understaffed.

“Once students are turned away, they are discouraged to go back for the assistance they need,” said Ryan-Romo. “It’s hard for students to ask for help just to be turned away.” The LAC is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. to  5 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Language Lab, however, did not receive a budget cut. The budget was, in fact, increased, which allowed the Language Lab to hire an additional Spanish tutor said Ryan-Romo. During the spring semester, the Language Lab had eight tutors. This fall, they have nine.

The Lab offers tutoring for all modern language courses including ASL and ESL courses. Students can make appointments for one-on-one or group sessions, but walk-in tutoring is not guaranteed.

The Language Lab is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in E3-170.

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