Program History

The UF College of Journalism and Communications has proudly offered a summer workshop in Gainesville for more than 50 years.

Our program began as The Summer Journalism Institute (SJI) with the Florida Scholastic Press Association to offer training to high school journalists and their newspaper and yearbook staffs.

Since then, SJI has grown from journalism training to encompass all disciplines of study that we offer at UF.

With more than 3,000 alumni of our summer program, you can find our students in colleges, newsrooms and exciting careers across the globe.

In 2014, we hosted more than 200 students (the largest in program history) from 19 states and three countries.

The CJC Summer Institute held its first ever “Advanced Workshop,” in the summer of 2015 where students were immersed in a topic of their choosing for four days to produce portfolio-quality work and prepare themselves for a career in communications.

“Because of the Summer Institute, I was able to write for the Orlando Sentinel and intern at two local newspapers by my senior year of high school. Those are things I never thought I would do and never would have done had I never gone to camp. If you attend, you will obtains the tools and mentors you need to become a successful journalist while having the time of your life. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in journalism, UF or learning how to become an awesome person in general.”

– Katie Petty (@katielpetty) – Harmony High School, St. Cloud, Fla. – Class of 2015

“I fell in love with journalism in ninth grade and after attending UF’s summer institute in 11th grade – it turned into a full-blown obsession. When I first walked through the doors of Beaty Towers, I knew it was going to be an amazing experience. The sessions taught by University of Florida professors improve your ability to produce effective stories in an ever-changing environment. I especially liked the electives in weather reporting and laws and ethics of the media. While attending the CJC Journalism Institute the past two summers, I created four videos during the sessions. Along with the informative courses, living on campus allowed me to picture myself at the University of Florida.”

– Aaron Sortal (@sortalfilms) – American Heritage School, Plantation, Fla. – Class of 2015


“Attending the Summer Institute was the moment I realized I wanted to attend UF and be a part of the J- School. It prepared me for what to expect during undergrad…from eating in the dining halls to attending classes with J-School professors. One of my  friends I met at SJI became one of my closest friends in the Telecommunications program. If I could I would go back and do it all over again.”

– Katie Gillen (@KatieGillen) – Production Assistant, ESPN

“Going to class in UF’s College of Journalism and Communications in Weimer Hall my freshman year was like returning to an old friend.

I vividly recalled my experience as an SJI camper as I settled into my collegiate life and, though it is a few years behind me now, I can honestly say that nothing could have prepared me for SJI – a week of mattress surfing, Gator Dining, the antics of my mentor Steve Johnson and a thorough and professional introduction to my journalism education.”

– Leanna Scachetti (@leannascachetti) – Senior Telecommunications Major at UF