High School Counselors and Teachers often reach out to us with questions about how they can help students who will be using SlideRoom to apply to colleges and universities. Now, there's an easy-to-use guide that any staff member can reference when guiding their students through the SlideRoom application process: "The High School Counselor's Guide to SlideRoom."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Making is the core of how we learn, solve problems, and arrive at new ideas. It is the cornerstone of innovation and any country’s most precious resource.
In 2014, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recommended more universities and colleges consider implementing a Maker Portfolio in their admissions process as part of a larger effort to expand opportunities for “making” within school campuses. Over 150 schools issued a joint letter to the President committing to this initiative in various ways.
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.
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.
AICAD – the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design – is a non-profit consortium of 42 leading art schools in the US and Canada. Membership includes colleges in the US and Canada that are: private, non-profit, free-standing, specialized colleges of art and design, BFA and/or MFA degree granting, and accredited by NASAD (the National Association of Schools of Art & Design) and the appropriate regional accrediting agency.