We just interviewed a young art director who recently moved to California from Switzerland. Her book is pretty amazing and, when she ultimately puts her portfolio online, I will post it here for you to look at.
She has been in advertising a mere 5 years and has shortlisted at Cannes. Need I say more? If you saw her work you'd expect her to be older and certainly more experienced than she actually is.
During the interview, she described her schooling in Switzerland. You'll all be jealous and wish you were Swiss after hearing this. And no wonder her book is so incredibly strong. In Switzerland, at her particular Ad School, you attend classes 2 days a week and you work at an agency the other 3. Every week for 3 years. So essentially, when she graduated she had 3 years experience at a big name agency. It's kind of like ad school in dog years.
Why not a school like that here in the US? Partner with an agency, give them loads of intern/junior level talent (beyond the 16 hrs a week for 8 weeks in summer help that we are all used to) and graduate talent with a big, Swiss leg up on the competition.