Who Attends?

All college undergraduates are encouraged to apply, including graduating seniors. Students are chosen for their passion and desire for locally-based social change. Many of our students had never picked up a camera or microphone before attending, and left Portland with professional production skills, and a strong knowledge about how to affect real change in their communities.

We want to provide direct and undivided attention, therefore the program is limited to 12 students. We recognize that technology is constantly changing and we want our graduates to be comfortable adapting to new media. During the Summer Documentary Program, students learn the journalistic skills and resources to effectively bring about positive social change.

In a recent survey, we found that 70% of our graduates have entered journalism and public interest jobs, including positions at This American Life and Village Voice; 90% of those indicate our program was a “strong motivator” for that career choice.

The intersection of the creative process with political advocacy was a constant theme throughout the summer, providing us with an understanding that these two worlds, often needlessly separated, are best activated when they work together!
— Colin Christopher, George Washington University '06 and U of Wisconsin '13 (Master's)