As colleges fill with nontraditional students returning to college after years away from education, educators ask what will help these students make that transition. A study skills course is often an introduction to college for many of these returning students. My research examines how women in particular might value journal writing as a strategy to help them become students again. Three themes emerged from the literature which connected learners and journal writing: thinking and writing are connected; journal writing aids learning, and journal writing helps students to find their voices and to improve their self concepts. I studied two classes of reentry college women for a ten week term each. My examination of student journal entries, student reports on surveys and in interviews showed that they valued journal writing to help their thinking, learning and to improve their self concepts. Additionally, they used the journal to connect to me, and I used the journal to connect to them.
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