Exceptional Pre-College Journalism Programs for High School Students

January 19, 2024

Pre-college programs in journalism offer high school students who are interested in this craft invaluable opportunities to hone their media skills, explore diverse facets of the profession, and gain insights from seasoned journalists. In this blog post, we highlight some of the best pre-college journalism programs that provide immersive experiences, hands-on training, and exposure to the dynamic realm of reporting, writing, broadcasting, and digital media. Whether through prestigious university-based institutes or specialized camps, these programs play a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of media leaders.

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Columbia University - Summer Journalism Workshop

The annual, weeklong Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Summer Journalism Workshop offers both in-person and virtual options for the staff, including students, of both print and online publications. Participants enhance their skills in writing, editing, management, and design.

J CAMP | Asian-American Journalists Association

JCamp is a national multicultural journalism program designed for high school students with the goal of developing the next generation of reporters. The six-day training camp, which brings together culturally diverse participants from across the nation, includes interactive workshops, hands-on training, and field trips, focusing on core principles such as cross-cultural communication skills, leadership fundamentals, diversity in the newsroom, journalistic ethics, and the value of networking and career mapping. The program aims to address the lack of diversity in journalism and ensure excellence in the profession for the future. Through this immersive experience, JCamp strives to cultivate the voices and views of future media leaders.

Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute Online Workshop

Established in 1934, the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute is the nation’s most prestigious university-based summer program for high school journalists. During this immersive experience, students receive instruction from accomplished journalists and university professors, gaining practical skills in reporting, writing, and editing for print, broadcast, and online media. The program also covers video, audio, photojournalism, and digital storytelling. Participants create a substantial body of work, build valuable connections, and connect with aspiring journalists from around the world. The institute emphasizes the development of clear, concise, and accurate writing skills that will benefit students in various academic and professional pursuits.

NYU Pre-College - Summer Journalism

Summer Journalism@NYU provides high school students with a unique opportunity to explore the world of journalism, experience life as an New York University student, and earn college credits. Participants take undergraduate courses in journalism taught by the university’s esteemed faculty. This immersive experience allows precollege students to delve into potential future majors or discover new academic interests while interacting with a diverse global community. The program offers a variety of courses, including Report NY, Introduction to Narrative Podcasting, Photojournalism, Style NY: Covering the Fashion Industry, Eating the World: Food Writing and Reporting, and Covering the Arts: NYC Backstage.

Princeton Summer Journalism Program

The Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP) is a six-week, tuition-free residential institute designed for high-achieving high school juniors from low-income backgrounds. Up to forty students nationwide engage in workshops and lectures led by Princeton professors, professional journalists, and alumni. The program explores current events and world affairs, concluding with the publication of the student-produced newspaper, the Princeton Summer Journal. Following the program, students receive ongoing support during their senior year through a personal college adviser who assists them in the college admissions process, fostering educational opportunities for underrepresented individuals.

The School of The New York Times NYC Summer Academy

This academy offers a diverse range of two-week courses covering topics in journalism, media, technology, arts, culture, sports, fashion, and business. Taught by award-winning Times journalists and industry experts, the program provides in-depth explorations of subjects that impact the world. Students can attend as residential or day students and choose from multiple courses running from early June to early August. The Summer Academy aims to create an immersive environment where students learn, investigate, and explore while enjoying the company of friends, mentors, and instructors who share their passions and interests. The program integrates academic and nonacademic components for a holistic approach to maximize students’ learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.

University of North Carolina Sports Journalism Camp

This camp offers a comprehensive program that combines classroom study with hands-on newsroom practice for students interested in sports journalism. Led by instructor Tim Crothers, a former senior writer for Sports Illustrated, the camp includes behind-the-scenes tours of UNC’s sports media facilities, interactions with visiting sports reporters and personalities, and coverage of press conferences. The instructional sessions cover various aspects such as sports photography, sports broadcasting, and sports writing. The camp provides a unique opportunity for participants to gain insights and practical skills in sports journalism from a seasoned industry professional.

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication – Camps at Cronkite

Held at Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus, Camp Cronkite is a one-week program designed for high school students from across the country to enhance their media skills. Participants can choose from three tracks: digital journalism, focusing on writing, photography, graphics, and multimedia journalism; broadcast journalism, emphasizing video, TV, audio, and immersive journalism; and sports media, concentrating on sports journalism and team storytelling. The camp provides hands-on experience in various media techniques, including video editing, photography, reporting, writing, and script development.

Yale Daily News Summer Journalism Program

The Yale Daily News Summer Journalism Program is a one-week intensive course in journalism for high school students, organized and led by undergraduate staff members of the Yale Daily News. The program includes workshops on reporting and writing fundamentals, lectures by guest speakers from major national publications, and hands-on experience in reporting a story. The week concludes with the production of an issue of the Yale Daily News.