Portfolio Prep Program Online (P3.O)

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Welcome to P3.O! 

We’re inviting teens to build their portfolio with us! 

We know how and why! Our portfolios are always winning portfolios. Our comprehensive program covers project creation; electronic portfolio assembly; college essay reviews; letters of recommendation, and deeply committed mentoring throughout all of high school.

The Portfolio Prep Program (P3.O) is an honors studio program for teens. Through P3.O, our studio instructors guide and support teens as they build their unique projects across the high school years. 

Teens then submit their completed portfolio to their preferred colleges during their college application process.

Deforestation (2021) by Lakshmi S. age 14
Mixed-media on 140 lb. paper (18 in x 24 in)
Challenge: non-digital infographic. AAHP/P3.O

The Dancers (2021) by Sally Lynch, age 18.
Ink on paper (11 in x 14 in).
Challenge: optical mixing through pointillism, AAHP/P3.O

Arty: A Corner of an Artist’s Studio By Cameron B. age 15
Mixed meda, battery-operated lights.
Architecture Challenge: Design and build from scratch a 3D model of one corner of a room that you yourself invent. AAHP/P3.O

Oops! (2021) by Naaisha K. age 13
Assorted papers, battery-operated lights, glue.
3D Challenge: design and create a dynamic shadow box from scratch; reveal four depths. AAHP/P3.O

Colleges Want Your Portfolio!

Many colleges in the USA and abroad require portfolios when a teen applies to the following disciplines: the fine arts, applied art (design, including graphic design, fashion design etc.) and architecture.

Many colleges in the USA and abroad recommend and highly welcome portfolios, too. A strong portfolio will quickly define the teen as a candidate of excellence. 

Our teens’ portfolios have helped them win college admissions successfully in the following areas of inquiry: the natural sciences, the social sciences, medicine, the liberals arts, I.T., engineering, law & government, and business. And of course, we also provide strong guidance in the construction of admirable portfolios in the fine arts, design, film & photography studies, and architecture.


1. Why should my youngster start P3.O in 8th grade, or around age 13?
The brain of a 13-year old undergoes a huge shift in learning capabilities. At age 13, a youngster’s brain shifts from concrete manipulations to more abstract and spatial dynamics. Furthermore, neural circuits literally start to set down pathways for life. This is why age 13 is one of the best moments to help the youngster transit from sketching, tonal drawing, and painting into project design and 3D construction, whether they are tracking towards the arts, design, fashion and architecture, or tracking towards the liberal arts, the natural and social sciences, I.T. and engineering.

P3.O projects are unique to each and every student, and require time to design, test and build.

  • Before 8th grade, we, the instructors, drive the stage-by-stage construction process as the student develops their imagery. 
  • It’s at age 13 that we see our students start to “own” the construction process with a more critical understanding of their own.
  • After 8th grade, the young studio practitioner is now able to devote energies to designing and developing their unique projects, rather than learning how to get it done.
2. What if my youngster is already 14?
Let’s get to it. Please send us your inquiry to art14@artacademynj.com
3. What should my teen’s portfolio show?
The portfolio is a collection of projects that the student has developed uniquely across high school.

A portfolio demonstrates the student’s range of learning experiences as a problem-solver; their commitment to learning; their emerging sensibilities; their creative problem-solving skills, and even their research and communication skills. 

The portfolio, as a whole, also shows familiarity and enduring interests in certain topics, say architecture, or medicine. 

The portfolio should always reveal investigative and exploratory action through actual design and construction.

4. What does my teens portfolio contain?
Tracking into the Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Medicine, I.T., Engineering, Law & Government Business, Others. Portfolios are usually optional; they serve as a terrific way of distinguishing oneself as a very strong candidate.

  • These portfolios will feature 3-6 pieces.
  • This means building at least 2 projects per high school year, in the first three years. On occasion, the student may have a very successful piece from 8th grade that may be included.
  • Please note that it is impossible to build projects in the first half of 12th grade, when college applications are due. 

Tracking into the Fine Arts, Applied Design, Film & Photography, Fashion and Architecture. Many colleges in the USA require a portfolio with these types of college applications.

  • These portfolios may feature 10-20 pieces.
  • This means building approximately 3-6 projects per high school year, and then only in the first three years (this can include any successful projects made at school). On occasion, the student may have a very successful piece from 8th grade that may be included. 
  • Please note that it is impossible to build projects in the first half of 12th grade, when college applications are due. 
5. Does my P3.O youngster miss out on foundational studio training?
In P3.O, no youngster ever misses out on foundational studio training in art and design. In fact, none of our project-centered learning experiences can happen without a constant revisiting, reviewing and refining of classical studio skills—observation, measurement, interpretation, and command of the construction process itself, with its plethora of techniques and devices. 

And what’s even better, our projects introduce the teen to additional art and design forms, along with their attendant media, techniques, and construction matters.

6. What is the class structure at P3.O?
The P3.O’er attends  2 hours of class per week. The class can be one, 2-hr block, or two separate blocks of one hour each, across the same, or different days.

Class slots are offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, after school, and evenings. For the P3.O class slot schedule, please click here. (this should open up the schedule page in a new tab)

P3.O’ers meet online with instructors Ana, Aaron and our very own Tommy Valenti. After five years at the AAHP and already an award-winning illustrator high schooler, Tommy then became an award-winning graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (majoring in furniture design). Tommy has been serving with us ever since, as an excellent Junior Instructor.

Makeups are always available across the established class slots.

7. What about art materials & supplies?
Tuition covers the majority of materials needed per project. However, each project is highly unique; parents and students may need to make minor purchases of materials from home, or use found objects around the house to complete any given project.
8. Does online studio really work?
Ours does! Yes. Absolutely. Please look closely at the photos above. These are all remarkable portofolio works completely developed by teens at home, and through online work with us under P3.O. 

A drawing cannot lie. A painting cannot lie. A 3D model cannot lie.

How to Join Us

We remain committed to strong teaching and mentoring online. We have optimized all online tools for learning together, not for just delivering content unidirectionally. 

The student brings to the worktable strong learning skills and enthusiasm. Then we can help them soar. 

All this, at our affordable and competitive rates. For rates & billing, please click here.

Register now for P3.O. Please click here.

Portfolio Prep Program Online

Academy of Art of Highland Park
727 Raritan Avenue Highland Park, NJ 08904 USA
Studio Line: (732)-359-4450
Emergency Hotline(732)-668-9813

Contact Us

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