Title

LEADing the Way with ePortfolios in a First-Generation Learning Community

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2017

Publisher

Association of American Colleges and Universities

Abstract

Although an increasing number of first-generation students are beginning tertiary education, many are not completing their degrees. In an attempt to improve retention and graduation rates, learning communities responsive to the unique needs of first-generation students are becoming more common. This paper explores the implementation of ePortfolios in first-year writing courses in one such learning community, the LEAD Scholars Program. The research, which employed thematic analysis of student ePortfolios in a qualitative case study, suggests that ePortfolios operate synergistically with other high-impact practices to amplify the persistence and success of firstgeneration students and prepare them for their roles as engaged citizens and leaders in an increasingly technologically-connected society. The broader significance of this research derives from the importance of discovering how to improve the effectiveness of programs to retain and graduate first-generation students.