Programs for High School Students

Summer Journalism Institute

Summer 2014

Session I: July 5-July 19 (Move-out day for on-campus students: July 19, 2014–by noon)
Session II: July 27-August 9 (Move-out day for on-campus students: August 10, 2014–by noon)

Program Description

The Summer Journalism Institute offers rising sophomores, juniors and seniors an opportunity to explore journalistic techniques and approaches to produce journalism in a variety of formats. Applicants selected for this two-week intensive program channel their interests in news, storytelling, and communicating. Whether it is with words, pictures and/or sound, this program explores the capacity to report news and feature stories in print, broadcast, online, and over mobile technology. Students move beyond the traditional methods of communicating news and explore the formats of blogs, microblogs, texting, and using their mobile devices to take and edit pictures and to shoot and edit video.

The Summer Journalism Institute will be taught at Emerson College's state-of-the-art journalism labs to give students the ultimate multimedia learning experience.

Please note: This program is designed for students who have an intense interest in reporting the news and who want to gain the knowledge and skills to either join or start a high school newspaper or television station, and for high school journalists looking to improve upon their skills in print and/or broadcast and want to expand their projects to the web. Students entering grades 10, 11 and 12 during the 2014-2015 academic year, who know how to manage their time and complete assignments both in and out of the classroom and who have the desire and maturity to receive constructive criticism about their work and give helpful feedback to others during the program are encouraged to apply.

Learning Outcomes

The Summer Journalism Institute for High School Students focuses on developing and strengthening a greater sense of news literacy and journalistic techniques. Students who participate in this program:

  • Gain a greater sense of news literacy and ethics
  • Compose, photograph and format pictures for news
  • Photograph and edit video for class news packages
  • Work in pairs to conduct "man-on-the-street" interviews
  • Write headlines and post stories on the Journalism Institute website
  • Produce feature stories on parallel pre-college summer programs for the multimedia blog
  • Co-anchor television news studio presentations and compile video story clips
  • Develop materials to demonstrate writing and communication skills for a college entrance portfolio by producing news and feature stories

Final Presentation

On the final day of the Institute, the group will present a sample of their work to an audience of family, friends, and peers. Session I Final Presentation: July 18, 2014; Session II Final Presentation: August 8, 2014.

Program Costs

Students may apply to either Session I or Session II of the Journalism Institute; or they may apply to Session I of the Journalism Institute, to be followed by the Political Communication, Advocacy, and Leadership Institute.

Journalism Institute Costs per student:

  • Residential, Session I: $3,070
  • Commuter, Session I: $1,895
  • Residential, Session II: $3,070
  • Commuter Session II: $1,895

Political Communication Institute Costs per student:

  • Residential: $3,070
  • Commuter: $1,895

Lunch, Monday through Friday is included. The residential option includes room, linens, breakfast and dinner on weekdays, and brunch and dinner on weekends.

Non-refundable application fee: $30

Who May Apply

High school students entering grades 10, 11, and 12 during the 2014–2015 academic school year, and who will be 15 to 18 years old as of July 5, 2014 are eligible to apply. The program is suited for the high school student who has an intense interest in reporting the news and wants to gain knowledge and skills to either join or start his/her high school newspaper or television station. Current high school journalists looking to improve upon their skills for print or broadcast and who want to expand their projects to the web are also welcome to apply.

Applying is easy. Submit the required institute application form (completed and signed) a $30 non-refundable application fee, and the following:

  • Student Statement of Purpose: In one or two pages, please describe 1) what you hope to achieve during the Institute, and 2) an event you feel has prepared you for the Institute.
  • Essay: Discuss your strengths and weaknesses regarding your writing, reporting skills, editing skills, experience with blogging, and your ability to collaborate with others. Please include which platform of journalism you feel most comfortable and least comfortable to work in.
  • Teacher Recommendation Form: Please submit at least one recommendation, completed by a teacher who knows your work, in a sealed envelope with the teacher's signature across the back seal.
  • Work Samples: one or two samples of your work, such as any relevant web links that offer further information about your ability and recent work, including Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, or online school newspaper.
  • Résumé

Admission to Emerson College's Journalism Institute is on a rolling basis. Space is limited, so please apply early.

Priority application deadline: May 1, 2014

Final application deadline: June 18, 2014

Students who are accepted will receive an acceptance letter along with instructions for confirming their place in the program.

Program Schedule

Schedule is subject to change.

You may apply to participate in one of two Summer Journalism Institute sessions. The sessions offer the same academic information and housing option; and the cost of the sessions is the same. The weekly schedule is Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Week 1
During the first week of the Summer Journalism Institute students produce news stories for the Institute website and blog. Each student reports, writes copy, and shoots and formats pictures. They also shoot and edit video and provide a story for a short class newscast. In pairs, students conduct man-on-the-street interviews. Every student is given an opportunity to co-anchor the newscast and each student receives a DVD copy of his or her newscast, as well as clips for journalistic and college application portfolios.

Week 2
Students focus on a feature stories project: A Day in the Life of an Emerson College Summer Program. Students are divided into groups and each team chronicles one of Emerson College’s high school summer programs (Filmmakers Studio, Musical Theatre Studio, Acting Studio, Stage Design Studio, Television and Film Production Studio, Creative Writers Workshop). Each group designates assignments among group members – such as video photography, still photography, interviewing, and note-taking. On Monday and Tuesday of the second week, students produce one news feature for the website. Wednesday is reporting day for A Day in the Life. Thursday and Friday consist of writing and production work.

Institute activities often include News of the Day: Quizzes and discussions of the day’s events via newspapers and website review; Who Can You Trust?: Activities designed so students learn how to determine reputable sources of information by delving into who did the original work; and, news, commentary, and comedy activities designed so students discern between analysis, commentary, and transparent/objective news.

*Note: Students who apply to Journalism Institute Session I may also be interested in applying to our two-week Political Communication, Advocacy and Leadership Institute.

General Academic Policies

  • Emerson College Journalism or Political Communication Institute students are expected to attend all classes to which they are assigned, participate fully in classes, and complete all requirements as outlined by their instructors.
  • In addition, all students – including commuter students – are expected to adhere to the program’s General and Residential Life Policies as outlined in the Emerson College Arts and Communication Pre-College Program Student Handbook.
  • Emerson College Journalism and Political Communication Institutes have a zero tolerance alcohol and drug policy.

The Residence Hall

Emerson College Summer Journalism Institute for High School Students offers on-campus housing in a supervised, air-conditioned, and secured residence hall. Students are often housed in four- and six-person suites with two- and three-person rooms. Each suite consists of a common area and bathroom. Each resident is provided with a bed frame, mattress, desk, desk chair, closet or wardrobe unit, dresser, and individual Internet port. Every room is equipped with a cable jack.

Housing assignments are based on gender, age, and similar interests. Students who cause damage to their rooms or common areas or who lose their room keys will be subject to additional fees.


Students will be supervised by professional staff and student staff members who live on campus, explain College policy, refer residents to College services and offices, respond to emergency situations, and act as a general source of support for student residents.

Arts and Communication Pre-College Studio Programs

Emerson College offers five-week summer programs for high school students. If you are interested in pre-college non-credit programs in filmmaking, stage acting, musical theatre performance, stage design, or creative writing, please visit Arts and Communication Pre-College Studio Programs.

The College also offers five-week summer programs for credit. If you are interested in a credit program in film production, film writing, or college writing, please visit Arts and Communication Pre-College Credit Programs.



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