A Right Start in Writing

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Writing is just one of the many skills students must develop as they transition into college life, but a vital skill that a number of students struggle with. In order to address this issue at an early stage, colleges such as Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ, have adopted first-year writing programs. In addition, Rowan’s Writing Arts Department has produced a Guide to the First-Year Writing Program, a publication that includes Let Me Learn resources as a supplement.

“Writing is particularly frustrating for many students,” says Dr. Roberta Harvey, an associate professor at Rowan University and coordinator of the college’s First-Year Writing Program. “Being able to analyze instructor expectations, assignments, and their own learning behaviors is very helpful.”

The new publication is designed mainly to provide Rowan students in College Composition I with information on how to assemble their portfolio of essays for the end-of-semester evaluation. It also includes information on the entire First-Year Writing Program and selected resources on writing.

LML already plays a role in Rowan’s first-year program—as part of freshman orientation, new students take the Learning Connections Inventory (LCI) and participate in a brief workshop. Dr. Harvey, who played an active role in producing materials for the Guide to the First-Year Writing Program, felt that including a LML follow-up in the publication was warranted.

“Several of our instructors use LML in their writing courses to varying degrees,” Dr. Harvey says. “I wanted them to have some LML resources readily available. I also wanted to make the information available to students regardless of whether their instructors have any knowledge of it.”

Dr. Harvey, who, aside from teaching writing courses also has research interests in how people learn, finds LML to be right in line with what college students need to be successful: “Higher education is all about intentional learning. Students need to take charge of their learning in so many ways. Like so many others, I wish I had known about LML when I was a college student.”

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