November 11, 2008

Philadelphia Public Schools Adopt Virtual Technology Assisting the Disadvantaged College-Bound

High schools in the country's eighth largest public school system are using virtual technology to level the playing field for their socioeconomically disadvantaged college applicants. Students unable to meet admissions officers on campus can now personally express their qualifications, initiative and potential through secure, quick-format online video from

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"Many of our kids are exceptional postsecondary candidates with challenging and extraordinary life experiences. At 82% free/reduced lunch, our students don't have an equal opportunity to travel and present themselves on campus as is routinely done by affluent applicants," says Eileen Maicon Weissman, Principal of Kensington International High School. "Using, admissions officers can also see my students' passion for continued education and likelihood of college success."

Multimedia supplements to college applications are used in the U.S. and abroad to deepen the understanding of the individual, including character, achievements and talents. A student records and uploads quick-format video individually or in the high school and includes a personal passcode in the application. Admissions officers then have the option to view brief clips while evaluating candidates. Certain colleges including Michigan State and others are currently embedding the technology in their online applications.

"What our students have to say is just as important as the applicants whose families can afford to visit campus and our applicants can be heard at the admissions officer's convenience, any time day or night," said Richard H. Jenkins Sr., Principal of Roxborough High School. "Our students really enjoy making their multimedia supplements and are learning valuable tech skills in the process," explained Pat Walder, Technology Teacher Leader at the school. "Two guidance counselors serving 1000 students means our school and its pupils need to be very resourceful in the quest to attend colleges of choice."

Other high schools are using the technology as a teaching platform as well. "After last year's success, our school is now teaching English and Technology curriculum units around the product," said Sheryl Staszewski, Director of Counseling at Northern Burlington High School in Columbus, New Jersey. "Our students are now able to present themselves in a manner that adds a whole new dimension to their applications and we've received direct feedback from colleges that positively influenced their decisions," added Joe DeFrancesco, Guidance Counselor at Council Rock North High School in Newtown, Pennsylvania.


PSD is the eighth largest school district in the nation by enrollment and located in a historic and culturally rich setting. A racially and ethnically diverse community committed to education, the PSD provides a high-quality education that prepares, ensures, and empowers all students to achieve their full intellectual and social potential in order to become lifelong learners and productive members of society.

ABOUT COLLEGESUPPLEMENT.COM is a Web 2.0-based tool which deepens the understanding of applicant qualifications and potential for college success. Candidates upload quick-format videos, sharing with admissions professionals anywhere in the world distinguishing personal qualities which can't be conveyed in a traditional application. Admissions officers view videos through a uniform, fully secure online multimedia platform which is easy to access and navigate. See examples at

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