NECIR Pre-College Summer Journalism Institute | Summer Program Guide | Teen Ink

NECIR Pre-College Summer Journalism Institute

The New England Center for Investigative Reporting presents a once-in-a-lifetime experience for high school students interested in journalism, communications or writing: the Pre-College Summer Journalism Institute at Boston University, and a bonus session at Boston College.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Institute gives students ages 15 to 18 the opportunity to expand their skills, experience college life and explore Boston.

Each two-week session expands student skills through hands-on, real-life learning. Uniquely, we make the entire city of Boston the reporting beat. Guided by award-winning working journalists, students report and write on what’s happening in real time: government, business, sports, crime, courts, the arts and more. We expose students to techniques for hard core investigations, too.

The Institute also serves as an exploration of campus life. Students not commuting from home live in Boston University residence halls and eat at the student dining hall. Instructors use the same textbook from BU’s journalism fundamentals course, and give students the freedom to pursue their own stories.

The program includes evening and weekend field trips to historic Boston sites as well as unofficial tours to neighboring colleges.


Past attendees have said:

“Thank you so much for this opportunity. When I came into the program I knew it would be a great experience, but I never knew that it would change my life. I’ve learned so much about myself on this trip and also about relationships with others.”

“I liked talking about writing leads and structuring an article, because even though I write for the school paper, no one has told me how to write an article before.”

“Coming into this program I thought it would be a ridiculously intense two weeks of writing 24/7, but I thought the balance of fun activities and learning was perfect. The program exceeded all my expectations.”

“The afternoon classes were excellent. I was in Ms. Sharpe's group, and I still can't believe that a Pulitzer Prize winner read three drafts from each of her students and had several extended conferences with each of us."

Students live in Boston University or Boston College dorms with program counselors. Our program accepts students between the ages of 15 to 18 years old, and graduating seniors can also apply.


A. What makes your camp or program unique?
The NECIR Pre-College Summer Journalism Institute is unique because it offers students an opportunity to work with award-winning journalists, provides hands-on training in journalism and exposes students to investigative reporting techniques they can take back to their school/community newspaper. Students walk away with new contacts in the journalism industry, better writing and interviewing skills, and new friends.

B. Describe a typical day in your camp or program.
Morning classes focus on writing and journalistic style. Afternoon classes are called “Newsrooms” where students work with experienced journalists as their editors. Students will report and write on what’s happening in real time in Boston on anything from government, business, sports, crime, courts, the arts, and more. Evening events vary from having guest speakers from The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team and other local journalists. Students also have an opportunity to tour Fenway Park, visit the Museum of Fine Arts, or go on a shopping trip on Newbury Street.

C. What type of teenager participates in your camp or program?
Most of our participants are interested in journalism and writing, but have a lot of other interests. They are students who are ready for a campus experience. We look for students who are strong writers and self-motivated.

D. Where do your participants come from?
Last summer, our participants came from 31 states and 11 countries.
E. What is the housing like and what can you tell us about the meals?
Students attending our Boston University session will live at Warren Towers, usually in double rooms (with an option to have a roommate), but sometimes singles. Meal plans are available through the university dining hall (required for those staying on campus) and there are several other eateries around campus, providing lots of options.
Students attending our Boston College session will live at Boston College dorms, usually in double rooms. Meals plans are provided through Boston College.

Ages: 14-19

Gender: Co-Ed

Type: Overnight/Residential

Physical & Mailing Address:
640 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA USA 02215

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This summer program has 1 comment.

on Feb. 18 2017 at 12:18 am
What happens if the investigative subject matter someone wants to write about affects a powerful industry? Would the student be redirected to report on something more approved?

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