Abstract: This paper provides a look at the development of a new culture of assessment in higher education with the use of electronic portfolios (ePortfolios). It uses the metaphor of horticulture to describe how an inter-institutional program, Metro Academies of Health, has gone through the first two parts of the ePorticulture cycle—preparing for the use of ePortfolios and planting the first ePortfolio "seeds" within cohorts of students at both an urban community college and 4-year state university. Metro serves as a case study for potentially rich, albeit challenging, ePortfolio integration within a program that serves primarily low-income, first-generation college students. Given the chronically poor outcomes of many of today’s college students, ePortfolios operate as a high-impact practice that provides students and educators with a tool for assessment to improve academic success. Metro aims for a successful and strategic ePortfolio implementation by beginning with a foundation of research on best practices and gives a series of recommendations that apply to new or growing ePortfolio programs.
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