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Online Portfolios at iD Teen Academies Help Students Stand Out on College Applications

girl learning coding in front of computer

Is college competition getting tougher?

Students applying to Stanford in 2007 had a 9.49% chance of getting in – students applying in 2010 only had a 7.07% chance.  Harvard applicants for the same years saw acceptance rates drop from 7.92% to 6.17%.  MIT hopefuls took a similar blow, their odds dropping from 11.6% to 9.58%.

The numbers add up to one thing – a need for students to distinguish themselves from their peers.  Going outside of traditional school to supplement education has become par for the course in today’s rigorous admissions game.  One increasingly popular route is for students to specialize in skill sets like programming or digital photography through focused summer education programs.

Students of iD Teen Academies, industry leaders in summer tech programs for teens, graduate from tech programs not only with valuable new skill sets, but also with savvy online portfolios that show off their abilities.

iD Gaming Academy, iD Programming Academy and iD Visual Arts Academy are intensive pre-college programs that teach students competitive technology skills and help them explore possible future careers.  Depending on their industry of choice, students complete project-based curriculum in courses ranging from 3D animation with Maya® to iPhone® app development and programming.

Each 2-week Academy session includes four Portfolio Workshops, where students build an online portfolio that includes a bio page and work samples.  The portfolios are a flexible tool, easy to update and expand as students delve further into their fields.  Many past Academy students use their final projects, the centerpiece of the portfolios, as a springboard for pursuing even more advanced accomplishments.  Andrew Rosenblum is one such student – he attended iD Programming Academy held at MIT and started three iPhone apps as part of his final project.  He continued working on app development after his session, and now he has six published apps in the Apple® store with 30,000 downloads so far.

Andrew is a prime example of what Senior Academies Manager Somer Lowery calls “the Academy rite of passage.”  She explains, “Academy students enter as teens attending a summer camp and leave as young adults with professional skills and a portfolio to show off their work to the world.”

Because Academy sessions are held at prestigious university locations – often the very universities that attendees aspire to attend, including Stanford, Harvard and MIT – the real-life implications of the programs are immediate.  Students get a taste of life on their dream campus, and they actively learn how to better their chances of getting there.  With a portfolio to demonstrate creativity and professionalism, these students are more than up to today’s tough admissions competition.