SlideRoom frequently receives inquiries from High School teachers and counselors asking how they can help creative students showcase their skills as they are applying to college. The following letter is one example:
At this year's NACAC conference, we hosted a panel discussion about the growing importance of portfolios within admissions. While art schools have always asked for artifacts of achievement, STEM fields are beginning to experiement with this admissions practice. We asked representatives from MIT and Carnegie Mellon to share some lessons they have learned over the past few years. The themes that emerged included logistics, evaluation, and the general motivation behind recognizing creativity in all fields.
We have just renewed our longstanding partnership with The Common Application to support portfolios during the admissions process. Our collective goal is to expand access to college by creating a convenient way to submit and review personally meaningful projects.
Over the past decade, portfolios have become a standard part of the application process at many institutions of higher education. Schools of all sizes and selectivity rates use portfolios, but others have been holding back because of concerns about how to incorporate portfolio review into their application and evaluation process.
Africa's rapid population growth requires new thinking about how to support the infastructure development that will be needed in light of the projected surge. The World Bank estimates that by 2050, 1.2 billion people will be living in urban areas throughout Africa. According to MASS Design Group, there will be a need for 85,000 clinics, 310,000 schools, and 700 million housing units in the coming years. That means three-quarters of the buildings Africa needs have not yet been built.
This is a challenge that MASS Design Group hopes to solve through the African Design Center Fellowship, its first-ever educational initiative. With its main office in Kigali, Rwanda, the Center is already being called "The Bauhaus of Africa," and it aims to train the next generation of African architects.
Increasingly individuals are storing their creative work online, not on their personal computers. Sites like GitHub, YouTube, Medium, SketchFab, Etsy, and LinkedIn all operate as repositories for creative content. Today, SlideRoom will allow applicants to embed their creative content from almost anywhere across the Web into their SlideRoom application. They simply need to paste a link as a response to an application question or as part of their portfolio collection. When the media is available for display, like a video or a tweet, that item will fully display within the page. In cases like articles and blog posts, a rich preview will display and link directly to that content online.
Over 8,300 schools and other organizations are sending and receiving electronic credentials with Parchment. Today, SlideRoom is launching a new integration with Parchment, so schools who receive official transcripts can easily map them onto the correct applicant record. And if the match is unclear, SlideRoom proactively shows a list of likely transcript matches so that administrators can preview that list and attach the correct one with a single click.
Performance arts have a long history of using live auditions to determine their best applicants. After all, these candidates are competing based on their ability to fill a room with their physical presence and skills. This in-person process has immense value, but the cost in time and travel may not be practical for large or early-stage applicant pools.
We're excited to introduce our new blog for discussing education, technology and design. SlideRoom is part of Learning Machine's enrollment management toolset, so topical posts will be presented there from time to time. Meanwhile, product updates will continue to be placed here. We're interested in contributing to the larger conversation about the importance learning through making and helping institutions achieve change through better data and technology choices.
Adding SlideRoom to your Google Analytics account is a recent feature that launched with SlideRoom's Standard Plan last year. It allows you to see how applicants are finding your application portal and when they are visiting most often. Do they arrive from your email campaigns, tweets, facebook posts, ads, or somewhere else? Tracking referral sources is the best way to discover which of your promotional initiatives are paying off.