Case Study: Santa Monica College

Tag: Case Studies
Case Study: Santa Monica College

Community colleges have long been an integral part of the higher education landscape, and now their popularity is increasing. Offering a transition from high school to university as well as a range of practical certifications and associate's degrees, community colleges are an invaluable resource to their local regions. These schools not only offer an affordable education, but they provide access to many opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. The fact sheet below illustrates out some of the known benefits community colleges provide students: Image courtesy the American Association of Community Colleges. A New Mandate for California Community Colleges In light of their vital role, California passed legislation in 2016 that will enable its community colleges to provide even more value. SB 850 allows up

NACAC 2016: Portfolios Highlight a Changing Concept of Creativity

Tag: Case Studies
NACAC 2016: Portfolios Highlight a Changing Concept of Creativity

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: Hello, I teach high school science and in many of my classes (Physics, Robotics, etc.) my students generate some excellent physical and digital content. I was pleasantly surprised to learn about SlideRoom and the fact that your platform could potentially offer a way for my students to showcase some of their non-traditional academic skills by uploading this content to SlideRoom and the common app when they apply to college. However, I have contacted a number of admission reps. from the schools listed and many have said that their school only uses slideroom for stuff

NACAC 2016: Admissions Portfolios - Lessons from Early Adopters

Tag: Case Studies
NACAC 2016: Admissions Portfolios - Lessons from Early Adopters

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 experiment 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. Chris Peterson, MIT Assistant Director of Admissions, led by sharing a few examples of "maker" portfolios. These ranged from 3-dimensional chess boards to software apps (shown above). While these projects aren't a replacement for traditional academic achievement, they help MIT understand the whole person clearly, which in turn improves their ability

Portfolios for College Admissions?

Tag: Case Studies
Portfolios for College Admissions?

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. This post discusses some common fears and a few ways of thinking about portfolio supplements that may help an institution make a cost-benefit analysis in light of its particular needs. While portfolios are not panaceas, there are contexts in which portfolios enable an institution to find outstanding candidates they would have otherwise missed and better meet their admissions goals. “Do portfolios add any value beyond the traditional application?” The most fundamental hesitation many institutions have revolves

Designing a More Equitable Africa

Tag: Case Studies
Designing a More Equitable Africa

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

Spotlight on Auditions

Tag: Case Studies
Spotlight on Auditions

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. Increasingly, schools are using SlideRoom to screen applicants. Viewing a video of a performance online can quickly indicate whether a candidate is worthy of an in-person audition. SlideRoom makes online viewing and evaluation easy for faculty and staff who don't have time to learn technical systems. SlideRoom's powerful features for personalized email also make it easy to followup and schedule in-person auditions. Schools can insert variables like Applicant

Interview with Augustana University: Using SlideRoom for Admissions

Tag: Case Studies
Interview with Augustana University: Using SlideRoom for Admissions

Augustana University is a liberal arts college with a significant focus on ensuring applicants attain the professional skills needed to succeed in the job market. Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Augustana serves more than 1,800 students from 30 states and 38 countries. We're spotlighting them here because they represent a segment of smaller schools that don't get enough attention. The majority of schools in the United States are small and they find the legacy choices for enterprise software are neither affordable enought nor nimble enough to meet their needs. Last year, Augustana University chose SlideRoom to replace their homegrown network of systems for both Undergraduate and Graduate admissions. This involves streamlining the process for applicants, reviewers, administrators, and integrating with a range of campus

Remaking Admissions

Tag: Case Studies
Remaking Admissions

For over a century, gatekeepers to elite universities have relied on the same tools to ascertain merit and to shape incoming classes. These have included numerical metrics (SAT, ACT, GPA), detailed application forms, and often an interview to gauge personal qualities. Over this time, “merit” has been defined in various ways. In The Chosen — a seminal history of admissions to the Big 3 (Harvard, Princeton, Yale) —Jerome Karabel outlines how shifting definitions of merit were largely a mirror reflection of those in power — a soft way to keep out certain groups deemed undesirable. And so, the history of admissions is filled with conflicts about how to weigh “objective” academic measures like scores versus more ineffable qualities like leadership and character. The debate continues to this day.

The Rise of STEM Portfolios

Tag: Case Studies
The Rise of STEM Portfolios

Introducing portfolios into the STEM culture of admissions can be challenging, particularly when those departments place such strong emphasis on test-taking. Of course, stories like Sabrina Pasterski’s and the White House's Nation of Makers initiative remind us that identifying a minimum entrance threshold is very different from looking at what applicants have made and finding out what’s truly special about them. More than any data, grades, or assessment, someone's actual creative product is the best testament of his or her ability to create from scratch, to make a solution out of an open-ended problem. -Salman Khan, One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined Including STEM portfolios as an option within the admissions process is just beginning to take hold. High profile schools like Stanford, MIT, Yale,

How Admissions Missed the Next Einstein

Tag: Case Studies
How Admissions Missed the Next Einstein

When Sabrina Pasterski was applying for undergraduate admissions, she was rejected by Harvard and waitlisted by MIT … until they saw a video of her building an airplane. Due to Sabrina’s persistence, this video was eventually seen by Professors Allen Haggerty and Earll Murman who strongly advocated for her. “Our mouths were hanging open after we looked at it,” Haggerty said. “Her potential is off the charts.” She was ultimately accepted by MIT, and later graduated with a perfect GPA of 5.0. Sabrina is now earning her PhD at Harvard, earning major grants, and creating waves in the physics community. The recent profile titled “This Millennial Might be the Next Einstein” wonderfully summarizes her rocket-like launch into the world. While Sabrina’s story may be