IREW001: A Montgomery College Course Vital for Student Success

MC English Professor Catherine Lutter gives her insights on students’ success in English classes.

Photo Credits: Professor Catherine Lutter photo BIO at Faculty and Staff English and Reading Department - Rockville Campus from Montgomery College Website. Source:

Photo Credits: Professor Catherine Lutter photo BIO at Faculty and Staff English and Reading Department – Rockville Campus from Montgomery College Website. Source:

Nida Khan

When each new student arrives at Montgomery College, they come with their own unique educational needs. Committed to serving our diverse population, MC provides developmental courses. These courses seek to assist students on their journey by providing instruction to prepare students for college-level courses.

One such course offered at MC is the Integrated Reading, English, and Writing classes (IREW), which prepare native English speakers who need support before taking ENGL 101. Writing is a crucial component of both an academic and professional career, so it is important to build a strong foundation and successfully complete these courses. However, they can seem overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what to expect.

In order to help demystify the process, we spoke with a couple of students from an IREW001 class. Both were required to take the class for their respective degrees and expressed initial feelings of apprehension due to prior negative experiences with English or just general disinterest. However, both spoke positively of their experience in MC courses. One student credited the class with not only improving their writing skills but also their overall self-confidence. The other student said that they feel engaged when writing for this class, even though they don’t generally like writing.

As for succeeding in this class, both students emphasized actively participating during class. Asking questions, connecting with students, and sharing your voice all create a comfortable learning environment that will not only help you succeed but also support your fellow classmates. As for mitigating any intimidation you may feel, a valuable tip was to share your writing with a trusted loved one.

One student’s best friend gave plenty of encouragement, while also providing an extra perspective to scout problem areas in their paper. This bolstered their confidence and determination to get a project completed. Another tip was to take this class as a chance to explore new subjects of interest, making their written assignments exciting to complete, rather than dragging themselves through it. Lastly, when the class gets challenging, know that you are not alone. Others have experienced the issues you are facing and you, like them, will be able to succeed and go forward with your college education.

We also spoke with Professor Lutter, an English professor at the college who teaches IREW classes. According to her, students can expect to practice college-level reading analysis and writing in their IREW classes. Students will also receive draft critiques from classmates and feedback from a professor before submitting an essay. When preparing for an IREW class, gathering adequate resources, such as time in your schedule, textbooks, and a computer (either personal or loaned by the school) is vital to succeeding.

Additionally, students should utilize the Writing, Reading, and Learning Center and embedded class tutor whenever needed. Each MC campus houses its own Writing, Reading, and Learning Center, ensuring that all students across the three campuses have access to additional help, feedback, and reviews for their coursework. All these factors contribute to success in an IREW class, but could also be extended to other developmental courses at Montgomery College.

And lastly, as Professor Lutter says, make sure to “enjoy getting to know your peers and professors!”