Abstract: We used ePortfolios to promote and assess identity change in a summer research program for 81 underrepresented minority community college students. We hypothesized that ePortfolios would increase students’ development of academic identity, future orientation, and scholarly community. Students completed weekly ePortfolio journal entries and completed the Twenty Statements Test (in which students complete the statement “I am . . .” 20 times) during the first and final weeks of the program. We found that: (a) both ePortfolio entries and Twenty Statements Tests included increasing references to future orientation; (b) only ePortfolio entries included increasing references to academic identity and scholarly community; (c) changes reflected in ePortfolios were independent of changes evidenced in the Twenty Statements Tests; and (d) individual responses to both ePortfolios and the Twenty Statements Tests showed stability over time. We hypothesized that the inclusion of ePortfolios enhanced students’ experience in our program. Similar types of identity shift are likely to be present in many high impact activities (e.g., internships, study abroad, learning communities). The use of ePortfolios in these contexts could have similar value.
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