The ePortfolios system was introduced in November 2008 to streamline the admission process for students applying to majors in the School of Art and Design. Where previously an applicant could only submit a portfolio in person or by mail, applicants to the Fashion Design major can now submit their portfolios online as well.
Upon applying, a prospective student is invited to upload a portfolio, which includes written questions in addition to work samples and is linked to the initial application. A team of faculty members then grades the submission within 21 days, all inside the online system. The system generates e-mail notifications to both applicants and faculty evaluators at every step of the process, updates the student’s records, and archives the portfolio at the completion of the process.
Reuben Marcus, manager of portal and web services at FIT and the lead on the project, estimates that the ePortfolios system has already saved money for both the college and applicants: faculty are no longer required to come in on weekends to evaluate portfolios, and prospective students from outside the New York area save on shipping and transportation costs.
Reuben notes that most colleges with online portfolios use them to showcase their students’ work, not as part of an evaluation process, so the ePortfolios system, first conceived in 2007, had to be built from scratch. At ePortfolios’ launch this past fall, 125 students submitted their portfolios through the system, which continues to be updated based on faculty feedback and applicant usage.
This coming fall, two more majors (Photography and Communication Design) will be added to the system, which will eventually encompass all 14 majors in the School of Art and Design.