UNI College of Education students react to proposed cuts - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI College of Education students react to proposed cuts

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

News of major cuts at the University of Northern Iowa leaves many education students and faculty members with more questions than answers.

Thursday afternoon, UNI President Ben Allen confirmed several budget cutting measures -- including closing the doors on Malcolm Price Laboratory School.

Many students are concerned about what this means for the future of UNI's education program. Maurice Taylor, for one, came to UNI specifically to become a teacher. He fell in love with teaching youngsters after going through a high school mentorship program.

"Ever since then, I knew what I wanted to do," said Taylor.

But this week, UNI'S reputation as a teaching college was shaken with the announcement that Malcolm Price Lab would likely close at the end of June.

"I kinda looked into it, and I was shocked, to be honest," said Taylor.

"Very shocked to learn Price Lab may no longer be here," agreed fellow education student Amy Boley.

Students like Boley and Taylor, who are currently enrolled in the education program at UNI, will likely finish out their studies. But as Boley puts it, without Price Lab, there isn't much left to entice future teachers to come to Cedar Falls.

"That's a factor that people, when choosing UNI, going into education, they have a special school that they can go to. Well, if they're closer to Iowa State or Iowa, might as well stay there because what's the point? It's just like any other school in the state now," said Boley.

The Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Dwight Watson, is aware of the ramifications of closing Price Lab. He's already looking for a solution. One that will likely involve working closely with the Cedar Falls and Waterloo school districts.

"If a student came to a school primarily for this -- we have to figure out how we can replicate the best of the lab school in the distributed model," said Watson.

But even as administrators begin working on UNI's future, students like Taylor and Boley are hoping to keep the legacy of the teaching school -- and Price Lab, alive.

"There's a little bit of hope left... so you never know," said Taylor.

Friday afternoon supporters of MPLS are planning a march to Allen's office. On Monday, Allen will meet with students and faculty from the College of Education to discuss the program's future without Price Lab.

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