10-Plus Journalism Summer Programs for High School Students

10-Plus Journalism Summer Programs for High School Students

Explore Summer Journalism Programs for High School Students

Introduction to Summer Journalism Programs

Journalism summer programs for high school studentsJournalism has undergone many changes with the advances in technology. People have multiple options to access the news such as television, print, websites, social media, podcasts and more.  Although options to obtain news and information has changed, many feel passionately that it is just as important to have ethical, honest, and objective journalists. The ideals of reporting information fairly, asking effective interview questions, providing reliable content, and communicating clearly are still vital for effective reporting.  This article is designed to provide information about summer programs for high school students in journalism.

The field of journalism has interesting and important career opportunities. The education and training of Journalism summer camps for high school studentsaspiring news reporters have remained significant for colleges, universities, and organizations. There are a number of summer journalism programs that provide high school students with the opportunity to explore the profession, learn from current news reporters, take part in hands-on experiences, and develop or enhance the skills that are needed to be an effective journalist. The summer programs also enable high school students to reflect on whether a college major and/or career in the field of journalism would be a good match for them based upon their interests, goals, and strengths.

Journalism Summer Program Options

Summer journalism programs for high school studentsAs summer journalism programs have developed, there have been options or tracks added to enable students to learn about and experiment with different facets of the profession. For example, students can learn about broadcast news, sports reporting, print journalism, podcast development, news production, local and national reporting, photojournalism and more.

The different options that are available through summer programs enable students to develop knowledge and skills in a particular area of interest. There are also summer opportunities in journalism that are broadly-based and provide the chance for students to examine a variety of different pathways in the field.

There also a variety of summer programs that give high school students a chance to explore different genres of writing. A number of writing programs can be found on the following page: Summer Writing Programs for High School Students

Potential Benefits of Summer Journalism Programs

Journalism summer program for high school studentsThere are many potential benefits that can come from participating in a journalism summer program. In the short-term, high school students can begin to develop ideas about possible college majors and opportunities in higher education. This can be helpful when conducting a college search because students can specifically research and learn about the journalistic resources and programs of study at a college.

Although college majors can change, if a student has an interest in journalism, it can be important to find out about the opportunities at a college such as the newspaper, broadcast studio, course offerings, and majors. Additionally, many of the journalism summer programs are offered on college campuses, which provides students with the opportunity to learn in a college setting. 

Another benefit of a summer program in journalism involves the chance for students to apply their learning quickly through opportunities at a high school. For example, if a student writes for the high school newspaper, the techniques acquired through a summer program can be utilized once the school year begins. Depending on the particular summer program, high school reporters can develop knowledge and skills in a variety of areas that can be implemented at their school through their role in reporting school news. 

Journalism summer camps for high school studentsA longer-term benefit of learning about aspects of journalism during the summer involves the exploration of possible career paths. For example, if a student has the chance to gain experience and acquire skills in television broadcasting and enjoys this mode of reporting news, it can be helpful in considering educational and occupational pathways to pursue.

A summer program can also be valuable when students realize that a particular aspect of journalism does not align with their interests. For example, if students who participate in a program that is focused on photojournalism and realize that they have a preference for writing news stories, this can actually be helpful information for the career exploration process.

Alternatives to Journalism Programs in the Summer

While summer journalism programs can be helpful, there are many alternatives that can provide valuable experiences for aspiring reporters. For example, a high school student may benefit from shadowing different types of journalists in the local area. During the summer, a student may be able to shadow a television anchor, a television field reporter, a sports reporter, a newspaper’s beat reporter, and/or a newspaper’s national reporter. These experiences can be illuminating with regard to a career in the field of journalism.

Journalism summer camps for high school students at colleges and universitiesA student may also be able to volunteer at a local news organization. This can be helpful in learning about the different facets of journalism as well as the behind the scenes production work. The exposure to a news organization may be beneficial for students in relation to reflecting on pursuing a college major or career in the journalism profession.

Another idea for the summer involves taking time to practice writing and/or public speaking. There are many ways to pursue opportunities for writing and public speaking during the summer. For example, a student may want to speak with a librarian at a local library and inquire about writing a weekly update to inform members about events. A student can also inquire about taking part in public book readings at a local library. This could involve sharing segments of text with adults or children and using this opportunity to speak clearly and at an effective pace for an audience. The ongoing practice of writing and public speaking can serve to hone skills that can be utilized in the field of journalism.

Researching and Finding Journalism Summer Programs

Journalism summer experience for high school students on a college campusSimilar to many types of programs, summer journalism experiences vary depending on the specific opportunity. The programs can differ by length, focus area, cost, structure, grade level, instructional philosophy, and more. As a result, it can be important for high school students to research and learn about programs to find those that would be particularly beneficial for them. 

It can be helpful for students to consider what they would like to accomplish during the summer and then research programs to discover the options that would align well with their goals. It can also be useful for students to consider program options that are close to home and alternatives that would enable them to attain their summer goals.

The journalism programs that are included, below, in this article may be helpful for high school students as they begin researching and finding summer opportunities. It is important to note that the list of programs in this article is not meant to be comprehensive. The journalism programs that are included in the article are intended to provide examples of the types of opportunities that can be considered during the summer.

Summer Journalism Opportunities for High School Students

University of Florida Summer Media and Journalism Program

The UF Journalism and Media Summer Program enables high school students to learn from university instructors, utilize the resources in the College of Journalism and Communication, and gain experience in areas of interest. During the program, participants have the opportunity to learn about different types of journalism, develop new skills, and get a feel for what it is like to major in the field of journalism at a university.

News broadcasting summer program for high school studentsThrough the program, high school students engage in meaningful discussions, examine current topics in journalism, collaborate with peers, and take part in experiential-based learning exercises. There are also a variety of speakers with professional experience that serve to help participants gain knowledge about the field of journalism.

One of the features of the program is the chance for students to choose a concentration or focus area. There are a wide variety of concentration areas, which include magazine production, podcast development, broadcasting, sports journalism, and more. Students can also take interesting elective options during the program in order to learn more about other areas within the field. These classes include topics such as weather reporting, free speech, interview techniques, and more.

This pre-college program enables students to stay on the university’s campus in residence hall dorms. This gives students a chance to get a preview of being in a college environment, which can be helpful when they prepare for the transition out of high school. 

The program is intended to be for high school students. Students who will be going into their freshman year of high school through those that just finished high school can participate. There is a registration process for the program.


University of Missouri Journalism Summer Program

The University of Missouri Summer Journalism Program is designed to help high school students learn and gain experience in news reporting. Participants have the chance to engage in practical journalistic endeavors, receive guidance from instructors, and meet other aspiring journalists.

The program connects students to the university’s news outlets as well as with real news organizations, including a local NBC station. This provides students with experiences to help them develop their journalistic skills.

Journalism news summer program for high school studentsDuring the program, students work on coming up with ideas for news reporting under the guidance of faculty members and instructors. A unique feature of this program is the real-world experience that students gain as they are progressing as a young journalist. The program also gives students the chance to work on bringing their ideas to life by collecting information, determining the relevance of a story, and potentially generating a news report. 

In the program, high school students have a chance to hear from professionals and receive advice to help them if they choose to pursue a degree and/or career in an area of journalism. The program also gives students a sense of what it is like to study journalism in a college setting.

In addition, participants can stay on the university’s campus during the week-long program. Participants have a chance to stay in campus dormitories and get a feel for college life.

The program is intended to be for high school students and there is an application to attend.


Carolina Summer Journalism Program

The University of South Carolina Summer Institute is designed to help high school students develop and enhance their journalistic skills. Participants have a chance to learn from and interact with professors from the College of Information and Communications. Students also work together in a cooperative environment that simulates real-world scenarios and practices.

Journalism high school students in a summer program on a college campusThe summer program provides high school students with the chance to explore journalism through project-based learning. In particular, participants collaborate to complete a culminating project that allows them to apply their learning.

Throughout the program, instructors provide guidance, as students implement practical journalistic techniques. Students also engage in discussions about current journalistic practices, which enable them to learn from others and share their ideas.

The program provides an option for students to stay in a university dormitory on the campus or to commute home after each day’s activities. The residential option enables students to preview college living and get a sense of what it is like to be a college student on the campus. The commuter option is less expensive and allows students to participate in the learning activities and then leave the campus to go home in the evenings. 

The program is intended to be for high school students and there is an application process to be completed to attend.


Penn State University Journalism Summer Camps

The Summer Journalism Camps are offered by the Bellasario College of Communications to help students learn about this field. The five-day summer camps enable high school students to interact with professors at the university, take part in real-world activities, and find out college majors in the field of journalism.

Summer journalism camp for high school studentsOne of the summer camps focuses on broadcast journalism. This program provides high school students with the opportunity to utilize resources and facilities such as television studio at Penn State. During the camp, students learn about new journalistic techniques, relevant topics and issues, and effective ways to broadcast news.

While many topics are covered in the summer camp, there is a focus on news and sports broadcasting. Participants have the chance to engage in experiential-based activities and produce a broadcast under the guidance of instructors. One of the features of this summer camp involves participants having the opportunity to meet and interact with current journalism students at the university. This enables high school students to learn about what it is like to major in journalism in a college setting.

Another summer camp that is offered at the university focuses on digital journalism. This program is designed to help high school students learn about the ways in which advances in technology can be utilized in the field of journalism. Participants learn about incorporating digital video, social media, and digital photos into journalistic stories. Students also have a chance to engage in experiential exercises such as reporting on events that take place during the summer camp.

Broadcast journalism summer program for high school studentsBoth of the summer camps at Penn State, enable participants to live on the university’s campus. The summer camps can help students to learn and progress as journalists while also getting a sense of what college life is like.  

There is an application process for the summer camps and there is a scholarship application, which should be submitted early. The summer camps are intended for high school students.


Arizona State University Cronkite Sports Broadcasting Summer Program

The ASU Summer Broadcasting Camp provides a unique opportunity for high school students with an interest in sports broadcasting. The summer program focuses specifically on sports broadcasting and it enables students to find out about potential career paths in this area. The summer camp provides students with the chance to connect with real sports journalists and to receive advice from current professionals in this field.

Sports journalism summer program for high school studentsDuring the summer camp, high school students learn about many different facets of broadcasting sports. For example, participants learn practical skills involved with play-by-play game broadcasts, posing questions to athletes, sideline reporting, and production.

Through the summer camp, students are introduced to the coverage of sports in the local area and there is a sports television station that is connected to the summer camp. As the program progresses, students can utilize the resources at the university to actually create sports segments and broadcasts.

During the approximately two-week program, students live in one of the university dorms. This experience can be helpful in finding out what it is like to be an undergraduate student in a university setting. It can also help high school students to reflect on what type of post-secondary educational environment would be beneficial for them.

This summer camp is intended for high school students and there is a registration process to attend.


Medill-Northwestern Summer Journalism Program

The Summer Journalism Institute is sponsored by the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. The five-week opportunity provides an extended summer experience for upper-grade high school students to learn about journalism at an in-depth level. Participants have the chance to explore many different aspects of the journalism field. They also learn from professors, hear from professionals, and meet other students from different locations.

Journalism summer program with high school student interviewing for a news reportDuring the program, students examine areas of journalism such as editing, broadcasting, reporting, and more. They also learn about the effective use of photography, video, and social media within the journalism profession.

One of the features of the program involves the writing instruction that is provided. This is designed to help students become accurate and clear storytellers. The writing instruction, practice, and training enables students to get a feel for college-level expectations and can be beneficial in areas beyond journalism.

Throughout the summer program, students participate in a variety of activities to enhance their learning. These include, gaining information from presentations, engaging in high-level discussions, taking part in experiential-based reporting exercises, analyzing real-world scenarios, collaborating with others, and more. The program helps high school students to get a feel for what it is like to study journalism in a college setting and the potential career options that can stem from a degree in journalism.

This pre-college program gives students a solid preview of college life. Participants reside in an undergraduate dorm, have meals in a university dining hall, navigate the campus, and manage a daily schedule. High school students gain valuable experience and get a preview of living and learning in a university environment.

This program is designed for high school students who will be going into their senior year. There is an application for the program. There are also scholarships available and there is aid available based on financial need.


University of Southern California Digital News Reporting Summer Program

The USC Digital Journalism Summer Course is a four-week experience that provides high school students with the opportunity to examine current issues in journalism and explore the ways that digital media can be utilized to share the news.

The class is a part of the larger USC High School Summer Program. Through this opportunity, participants can take part in a variety of experiences that are designed to help develop practical journalistic skills that can be utilized in today’s digital environment.

Summer journalism program for high school studentsDuring the program, students have the chance to learn about techniques that are implemented by professional journalists to make stories meaningful for people. Students are given opportunities to apply their learning in real-world situations. As a result, participants serve as reports covering real events and they prepare news stories under the guidance of the instructor.

Students produce news stories and share them on multiple platforms, such as USC’s online news site. In addition, students learn about and gain experience with incorporating digital photography, video, and social media into news stories. As the program progresses, students can develop a portfolio based on the reporting that they have completed.

The USC High School Summer Program offers students the option of residing on the campus or commuting. For students who prefer the residential option, the program is set up to give them a preview of living as an undergraduate at the university. The commuter option is available for students who would prefer to leave the campus after each day’s learning activities have concluded.

The USC High School Summer Program is intended for high school students who will have completed their freshman year by the summer. There is an application process and students can indicate their interest in the Digital News Reporting option.

Additional Examples of Summer Journalism Programs for High School Students

Mercer University Summer Journalism Camp

  • Mercer offers a digital media journalism camp for high school students. Students explore ways to share information, stories, and news with the use of digital media tools. Participants have a chance to learn about reporting, interviewing photography, video, and other journalistic skills.

Learn more: Mercer Digital Media Summer Camp

Indiana University Journalism Summer Program

  • IU has offered a summer journalism institute for many years. High school students have a chance to learn about journalistic techniques, interact with instructors, collaborate with peers, and engage in experiential-based activities.
  • This pre-college program is residential. Participants can live in university dorms, access to campus resources, and gain experience in a college setting.

Learn more: IU Summer Journalism Institute Program

Boston University Summer Journalism Program

  • This summer journalism institute provides high school students with the opportunity to learn from professional journalists, participate in college-level discussions, work with other aspiring journalists, and engage in practical activities.
  • This pre-college program enables students to spend time at the university, stay in dormitories, and have meals in campus dining facilities.

Learn more: BU Summer Journalism Institute Program

Syracuse University Pre-College Journalism Summer Program

  • Syracuse offers a summer program course that focuses on storytelling, broadcasting, and journalism in a digital age. The program provides students with the opportunity to engage in a variety of active and practical learning experiences to help them gain an understanding of different facets involved with storytelling, broadcasting, and using digital media resources.
  • This opportunity is designed for high school students who are least fifteen when the program begins. Students can stay in university housing during the program. There is an application for the pre-college program. Scholarships and financial may be available. Students are encouraged to submit applications early.

Learn more: Syracuse Digital Journalism Summer Program

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Mike Uretsky

Mike has worked in the field of education as a teacher, school counselor, program coordinator, and consultant. As an educator, he has helped high school students find summer programs, pre-college programs, and colleges that align with their interests and goals. He has an interest in assisting students with the transition from high school to college. Mike is the manager of Student Education Programs, an online directory, that is designed to connect high school students with valuable summer pre-college opportunities.

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Donna Andrews

Donna has worked in the field of education in a variety of positions. She has been a high school teacher, college academic skills coordinator, and university professor. She has helped students achieve success in summer STEM programs and sports programs. She has also coordinator and taught in pre-college programs for high school students.

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