Experience journalism and discover the power of the media at the NSLC on Journalism, Film & Media Arts.

The National Student Leadership Conference’s Journalism, Film & Media Arts summer program for high school students uses an interactive approach to learning that gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the challenging complexities of the communication field. Together with American University’s School of Communication, Discover the World of Communication program you will learn from working journalists, media professionals, public relations experts, web designers and animators.

Earn College Credit Hours

Program Highlights

Guest Speakers
Meet with professional journalists, filmmakers, and other leading media professionals

Interactive workshops
Learn the latest techniques as you work with professional equipment during classes taught by American University School of Communication faculty

Visit media institutions
Go behind the scenes during exclusive trips and tours

Explore media through interactive workshops

Interactive Coursework

Partnered with American University’s School of Communication, the NSLC provides a unique opportunity to spend nine days working in real classrooms, labs and in the field. You will work closely with professors in AU’s School of Communication and experience college-level lectures on various topics within the fields of journalism, film, and media arts.

Tailor your experience to what interests you. This unique program allows you to personalize your experience with one of a variety of hands-on workshops.

American University
Washington, D.C.
June 16 – June 24

Writing, Journalism & Broadcasting
Broadcast Journalism
Professional Newswriting
Sportswriting & Broadcasting

Film, Video & Photography
Scriptwriting & Video Production
Directing for the Camera
Music Entertainment Production

American University
Washington, D.C.
June 28 – July 6

Writing, Journalism & Broadcasting
Broadcast Journalism
Professional Newswriting

Film, Video & Photography
Scriptwriting & Video Production
Directing for the Camera
DSLR Photography

Public Relations & Communications
Public Relations
San Francisco, CA
July 26 – August 3

Writing, Journalism & Broadcasting
Broadcast Journalism
Professional Newswriting

Film, Video & Photography
Digital Photography
Scriptwriting & Video Production

Public Relations & Communications
Public Relations

Writing, Journalism & Broadcasting Workshops

Broadcast Journalism This course introduces you to the field of broadcast journalism and related legal, ethical, and technological issues. Develop interviewing, reporting, and writing skills. Produce a brief radio documentary or a television field report for your portfolio.

Professional Newswriting See what it takes to write a news story for print, broadcast, and the web. Get practical instruction in effective writing techniques for your school newspaper, neighborhood newsletter, or website. Learn how to distinguish between news and promotional writing. Hear professional journalists talk about their careers and visit a local newsroom.

Sportswriting & Broadcasting Learn to write for a live broadcast. Discover secrets of play-by-play commentary. Enhance your skills as a sportswriter. Students produce stand-ups at a Major League Baseball game, in Washington, DC have press box seats to blog for a WNBA game and visit Comcast Sports NET and ESPN 980. In CA, you will interview CAL athletes and held a mock press conference at the Oakland Coliseum and broadcast from AT&T Park.

Film, Video & Photography Workshops

Animation Learn the core concepts of animation production in this experiential course. Each student will have a computer and drawing tablet to practice computer-based and hands-on-techniques. Learn the fundamentals of drawing motions, character design, timing and syncing in animation, and cleanup. Go to our student work page to view examples.

Digital Photography Explore and learn the powerful photographic techniques to make the most of your digital camera. Abundant opportunities to hone your digital photography skills by capturing images of plants, animals and the environment; to city sites, individuals and chance encounters. Assemble a portfolio and have the opportunity to publish your images.

Directing for the Camera Refine your basic visual vocabulary and learn essential skills to break down a script, tell a visual story, and communicate your ideas to those behind and in front of the camera. Team up with student actors to create visual portfolios.

Music Entertainment Production Music has the power to excite and inspire us. But how are songs actually put together? Work in a professional recording studio and learn about multitracking, mixing, and matching music to film or video. No prior experience is required; students are grouped by level of ability.

DSLR Photography DSLR cameras are a game changer. Place the creative power of photography and video in your hands. Ignite your creativity, have the clout of communicating a story in true multimedia fashion. This course will expand your abilities and vision in producing a short film, documentary or multimedia story.

Scriptwriting & Video Production Write an original short script. Produce a video, including shooting, sound recording, and nonlinear editing on Final Cut Pro, all in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. No prior experience required; students grouped by ability. Equipment provided.

Public Relations & Communications Workshops

Public Relations Discover what goes into a blockbuster PR campaign—for example, how did the Taco Bell dog ring the bell at the N.Y. Stock Exchange? Learn how to strategize, develop, and implement your own campaign. Explore the art of messaging and talk to media reps about placing your story.

Meet the Experts

While at the NSLC’s high school journalism program, you will meet with and learn from leaders in the many areas of journalism. Aside from the extensive time spent with an American University professor, in past years, NSLC students have heard from guest speakers including:

Mr. Walter Mears
Political Correspondent/Pulitzer Prize Winner, AP

Mr. Ron Edmonds
Photographer/Pulitzer Prize Winner, AP

Mr. Jim Morin
Cartoonist/Pulitzer Prize Winner, Miami Herald

Ms. Stu Seidel
Senior Editor, National Public Radio, Weekend Edition Sunday

Mr. Tim Kurkjian
Reporter & Analyst, ESPN

Mr. Linton Weeks
Staff Writer, Washington Post

See behind-the-scenes into the world of media

Behind-the-Scenes Tours

An important part of the NSLC high school summer journalism program is seeing the sites around some of our nation’s greatest cities. These trips are designed as both sightseeing tours and exclusive educational trips specifically tailored to the area of Journalism:

  • American Film Institute
  • Newseum
  • National Geographic
  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • Capitol Hill
  • Comcast Sports NET & ESPN 980
  • Voice of America
  • National Public Radio
  • The National Press Club
  • Baltimore Harbor
  • Historic D.C. Monuments at Night
  • KQED, National Public Radio
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • The Working Group Non Profit Media
  • Pier 39
  • Fisherman’s Wharf

Leadership Training

At the heart of the NSLC is a leadership curriculum designed to build concrete leadership skills that will help you succeed. From the beginning of your program you will learn to work as a team during an exciting Ropes Challenge Course. Interactive lectures and small-group workshops will give you an opportunity to build upon your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.

Leadership topics tailored to the Journalism & Mass Communication program include:

  • Personality Styles and Group Dynamics
  • Public Speaking
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Stress and Time Management

Your NSLC tuition is all-inclusive. Your tuition covers course materials, housing, on-campus meals, social events and transportation throughout your program.

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We offer a comprehensive scholarship program to assist qualified students with the cost of NSLC tuition, based on financial need, academic merit and extracurriculars.

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Fundraising is a great way to raise funds to contribute toward your NSLC program tuition while also forging relationships with leaders in your community.

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