The College Ready Hackathon was a great success! Congratulations to the Winning Teams. Read about their projects here and watch a short video summary of the day. Thank you to everyone who participated!

The process of applying to university starts with imagination. But sometimes qualified students are unaware of the academic requirements or simply feel overwhelmed by the process. Whether through lack of counseling or the glut of information, even the best students may miss essential steps. This is especially true of community college students, whose requirements can be particularly complex and daunting. Develop an app to address this problem. Your New Media solution will make applying to college fun, inspiring and attainable for the least engaged, as well as most connected, students. It will:

  • Target one or more student groups: K-12 students and their families; 9-12 high school students planning to apply to the UC system, and Community College transfer students planning to apply for transfer to UC
  • Prepare students to apply directly from high school or by transfer from community college 
  • Focus on mobile apps and games that run on smart phones (based on html5) or text alert capability for feature phones
  • Include outcome metrics.

Cash Prizes - $500 

A panel of judges including UCOP and DDI will award three $500 prizes for best prototype, design or tool targeting each of the following:
  • Middle school students
  • High school students
  • Community college transfer students
Pitches will be evaluated based on creativity, accessibility (adaptable for a variety of mobile devices), and appropriateness for the target audience. Internships may be available following the hackathon to build and implement successful apps.  


The target apps of this hackathon will address the following: 
  • Apps will motivate and engage users 
  • Apps will encourage students and their families to start thinking about college already in 7th grade
  • Users in middle school, high school, and older may require different approaches. How does your app either target a specific group or scale to accommodate a range of users?
  • Apps should help students keep track of important deadlines
  • Apps may help students learn of scholarships or other resources available
  • Apps may help students should decide if college is the right goal for them


Learning Mode is supported by the UC Office of the President--Departments of Educational Partnerships and Student Affairs, in partnership with UC Berkeleythe CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative, and the Berkeley Center for New Media. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. For further information, please contact Camille Crittenden (ccrittenden [at] or Dante Noto (dante.noto [at]

Date, Schedule and Location

The Learning Mode: College Ready Hackathon will take place Sunday, 17 March 2013 in the BCNM Commons in 340 Moffitt Library on the UC Berkeley campus. Wi-Fi and cloud-storage will be provided. Hackers should bring their own computers. Snacks, breakfast and lunch will be provided.

9:00 am to 9:30 am     Welcome and introductions
9:30 am - 10:30 am     Team Building
10:30 am to 4:00 pm    Hack Time
12:30 pm to 1:15 pm    Lunch provided by Hackathon
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm      Pitch Time
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm      Judging + Awards

Registration (Requested by March 13)

This is an open registration to members of the public, advocates, professional developers, educators and students. Not a hacker? Please come anyway! If you have great ideas, we can pair you with skilled programmers. To sign up, follow this link to fill out the registration form

Judges (*pending confirmation)

  • Camille Crittenden, Data and Democracy Initiative, CITRIS
  • Dante Noto, Education Partnerships, UC Office of the President
  • Reginald Hillmon, Education Partnerships, UC Office of the President
  • Mark Del Lima, UI/UX Designer, IDEO
  • Daniel Drew Turner, Two Angstroms
  • Marsha Jaeger, Center for Educational Partnerships, UC Berkeley
  • Kimiko Ryokai, Assistant Professor, School of Information, UC Berkeley
  • Nikko Roxas, Academic Programs Coordinator, Early Academic Outreach Program
  • Middle School Student*
  • High School Student*
  • Community College Student*
  • UC Student*


Follow these links to learn more about applying to the UC system as a starting point for this hackathon: