The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR writing lab’s new staff to increase hours

By Ashley Johnson/tr news editor
Several changes over the past few months have left the TR writing and learning center short-staffed and temporarily unavailable on weekends.The center was relocated to the TREF first floor at the beginning of this semester after district offices took over the third floor. Shortly after its move, the lab began closing on weekends, but center coordinator Steven LeMons said the cut weekend hours are only a short-term move.

“We did launch a campaign to find a replacement for our weekend person which we have,” he said. “We’re just waiting on them to finish the final stages of the hiring process. Then, we’ll start back up with our Saturday hours.”

TR student Chloe Walker is taking a Spanish II course that has included Rosetta Stone as a weekly lab grade. She said the recent changes to the weekend hours have made it difficult to complete her Rosetta Stone assignments.

“There are times when I am not able to make it to the lab during the weekdays. So I usually rely on the weekends to complete the assignments,” she said. “I feel like the language lab hours should return to the way it was previously, especially since that is the only way to log onto Rosetta Stone.”

The writing and learning center services several types of TR students, not just those taking English courses, LeMons said. The lab is also tied to language acquisition for students taking foreign language courses.

“Rosetta Stone was added to the lab about a year ago, and it’s an extremely successful addition to the lab,” he said. “Some Spanish teachers have incorporated it into their curriculum.”

The lab has undergone several changes this year beginning in late October when a weekend staff member received a job as an adjunct instructor. Although they immediately began searching for a replacement, the hiring process is lengthy, LeMons said.

“There’s a process involved when you hire somebody here,” he said. “It’s not like you put an ad in the paper one week, and you get people in the next week and you decide who you’re going to hire.”

Another change to the lab was the installation of a system called TutorTrac. Before the changes, the lab was open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. every day except Sunday 1-5 p.m. LeMons said the lab has kept this aggressive schedule for more than two years and with the installation of TutorTrac, changes were made to accommodate more students during heavier hours.

“TutorTrac is a system that enables us to track the number of students visiting the facility. What we found is that during the later hours, our business significantly dropped off, and there may only be two or three people in the lab after 7 or 7:30,” he said.

During the fall semester, the lab continued to open at 8 a.m. but began closing at 7:30 p.m. At that time, Saturday hours were available from noon-5 p.m., and on Sundays the lab was closed. Until the replacement weekend person can begin working, there are no Saturday hours.

TR student Robert Jay said he enjoyed coming in on the weekends, but he understands the cut weekend hours are temporary and tries to get most of his work done during the week.

“Every now and then, I have to stay late on Fridays,” he said. “Extra time on Saturday eases a large workload.”

Having Saturday hours is important because some students have classes all day, work in the evenings and can’t make it to the center during the week, LeMons said. The lab will not yet open on Sundays, but as soon as the new weekend person finishes her hiring process, Saturday hours will return, he said.

“She’s already had her orientation,” he said. “As soon as we get the word from human resources that she can start working, we’re going to open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays, which actually gives students a lot of time.”

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