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UCLA Pre College Digital Journalism Program for Teens in Los Angeles-21 Days

Dates and Tuition

Please check the course dates carefully as each course's schedule and holidays may be different.

Weekly course hours – 25

Age Range - 14-18 yrs

Session DatesDuration
3 weeks
2 weeks

This academic summer camp at UCLA is the perfect gateway to journalism for 14 15 16 and 17 years olds

Digital Journalism Pre-College Program on the Campus of UCLA

This high school summer program balances academic preparation, fun group excursions, and structured independence to help prepare teens for college and make new, lasting connections. Living and studying on the campus of UCLA, students will have access to incredible athletic facilities and be able to discover the collegiate energy of the Westwood Village neighborhood of Los Angeles. This is the 21-day version of this program. The 28 version includes a final week traveling up the coast to Santa Barbara and ends in San Francisco.

**Morning or Full Day: **

Digital Journalism:UCLA

This course is designed for those who want to write, meet people who make a difference and tell the world about it. You’re interested in music and the arts, travel, concerned about the planet’s future and committed to social equality. Join the workshop led by journalist and author Richard Andrews: “The ability to put a few words together, run an interview and shoot some pics has taken me from piranha fishing on the Amazon and Borneo rainforests to Fortune 100 boardrooms and Beijing’s Forbidden City – dining with presidents and rock stars along the way.” Now living in a former vineyard outside Montreal, Richard writes travel and conservation articles for magazines around the world. During the workshop, he’ll work with you to research, write and pitch a story for publication. Guest speakers and a field trip to NPR station KCRW are also scheduled.

Typical Weekday Schedule

Choose either a full-day track option or a morning and afternoon course. Your personal schedule and lunch time may vary based on your course choices.

Option 1: Morning & Afternoon Courses

  • 8:00 AM Wake Up
  • 8:30 AM Breakfast
  • 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM Digital Journalism
  • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Lunch
  • 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM Digital Journalism
  • 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM Free Time (sports, fitness center, free time, special activities)
  • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Dinner
  • 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM Evening Activities

Option 2: Full-day Track

  • 8:00 AM Wake Up
  • 8:30 AM Breakfast
  • 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM Digital Journalism
  • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Lunch
  • 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM** Electives ( Below)**
  • 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM Free time (sports, fitness center, free time, special activities)
  • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Dinner
  • 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM Evening Activities

Afternoon Electives

  • Business Entrepreneurship: This intensive hands-on entrepreneurship program focuses on all facets of business plan development. Learn to assess the competitive entrepreneurial environment, develop a venture concept and growth strategies, create marketing approaches, build a cohesive management team, launch operations and develop financial projections. During the program, participants work as a team to create a business and on the final day, each team presents their business plan and participates in a friendly “shark tank” type competition.
  • **Social Media Marketing: **This course looks at the channels of marketing, advertising and communication that make up social media platforms, exploring how these tools fit into a company’s integrated marketing strategy. Using real-world examples from large corporations and small businesses, students explore how marketing professionals embrace online social networks, user-generated content and content sharing to create brand awareness. Learn tips and techniques to successfully leverage your own social media marketing.
  • **Stock Market & Investment Analysis: **Before you invest in the stock market, it’s important you understand the basics of finance, the components of an investment portfolio and the underlying mechanics of the markets. This course gives you a detailed overview of investing in the stock market and offers you many tools and techniques needed to invest. Practice by investing in a simulated stock market competition.
  • **Psychology of Human Behavior: **This course introduces basic concepts in psychology including behavioral, cognitive and clinical psychology. Through the use of discussion, film and in-class activities, explore topics such as how to improve emotional intelligence, limitations in perception, cognitive distortions and how to improve memory. Other topics included are mental illness, stereotyping and prejudice.
  • **Social Justice & Human Rights Forum: **Climate change, bans on religious freedoms, racial injustice, gender-based violence… the list of human rights violations, and social and ecological injustices are seemingly endless in the world around us. Join this forum on social justice and human rights where we will explore a number of topics through a systems-thinking lens to examine why and how unequal distributions of rights and freedoms manifest. We will also consider our personal identities, positions and power within these systems challenging our ideas of how to make positive social change in the world in which we live. This forum will involve participant discussion.
  • **Community Service: L.A.: **Perform meaningful service in the communities in and around LA as an Afternoon Course option. Projects are finalized in the spring, and those currently planned involve several days working with the children at a youth club and helping to maintain and beautify gardens in local schools with Enrich LA. A letter recognizing the hours of service and detailing the projects accomplished will be issued after the summer. *Students must be 16 years old by June 25, 2022 in order to choose this option.
  • **Cooking: L.A. Gourmet Experience: **From learning basic knife skills to creating succulent dishes, if you are a foodie, this course is for you! Whether you’re creating gourmet entrées or delicious desserts, this course is guaranteed to make you salivate. Our expert chef will help you develop technical skills in the kitchen in this hands-on culinary experience, where each class focuses on a different theme. You even get to take away a book full of mouth-watering recipes you helped prepare! * A supplementary fee of $220 applies.
  • **Digital Photography L.A: **There are few better places to master the art of photography than in the bright and sunny city of L.A. With your smartphone or digital camera in hand, this photography course will teach various digital photography techniques including imaging scanning, color digital printing, printing digital negatives, basic darkroom techniques and Adobe Photoshop. Creativity mixes with practical skills and culminates in an individual final photography project completed by the end of the course.
  • **Independent Workout: **Plan your workout regimen including weight training and cardio to help meet your fitness goals.
  • **Surfing: **Want to hang ten and ride the waves like a pro? This course heads to Santa Monica Beach where you learn how to improve balance and technique and perfect your form in no time. All levels of ability are welcome. * A supplementary fee of $220 applies.
  • **TOEFL Prep: UCLA: **This course is designed for non-native English-speaking students interested in attending an English-speaking college or university and to help prepare for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Thousands of schools worldwide rely on TOEFL scores to assist in admission decisions. Imagine the possibilities this test opens up to you as it demonstrates you have the English language skills necessary for an academic classroom. Our instructors guide you and offer you test-taking strategies, help you familiarize yourself with the test, and allow you to practice all sections of the exam. *A supplementary fee of $220 applies
  • **3D Game Design with Unity: **Are you ready to take your game design skills to another level? With Unity, an industry-grade design software, aspiring game designers will learn level editing, 3D modeling, impactful gameplay creation, as well as how to utilize scripts and variables. Student-created games will be available on a password-protected Black Rocket website to share with friends and family. *Participants will be required to bring a laptop compatible with MAC or Windows OS and a 64-bit operating system (cannot use Chrome OS).
  • **Crime Scene Investigation: CSI Los Angeles: **Experience the world of forensic science through hands-on training exercises and theoretical lessons. Examine CSI procedures along with forensic anthropology, biology and bloodstain pattern analysis. A scenario is staged and you work in investigative teams to identify, collect and interpret the evidence before you act as a forensic expert witness and testify in a mock-court setting.
  • **SAT Prep: **Improve your SAT performance by becoming a better test taker. Learn exclusive strategies in small classroom settings. Your instructor will help you master the test through in-class practice, drills and test reviews. You will better understand math, critical reading and writing concepts tested on the exams and your instructor will teach proven test-taking techniques. In addition to your course, you get the following materials and extras: Talented, dynamic instructor and proven methods and strategies-Diagnostic Exams, with detailed computer analysis of the results-Course Material and Workbooks * A supplementary fee of $595 applies for SAT Prep.

What It’s Like

Experience college life with the balance of engaging courses, group excursions, and free time.

Certificate of Completion

Receive a letter certifying the completion of your courses. Letters of recommendation are also available.

Exclusive Classes

All classes on this program are private to Westcoast Connection students.

Engaging Instructors

Courses taught by experienced university-level faculty, instructors, and local professionals


  • Workshop 1: Choosing the Right School and College Application Process Choosing the right college for your academic and personal interests is the first step in the application process. It requires careful research and self-evaluation. This interactive workshop provides you with tools and resources to help you develop a list of criteria integral in choosing appropriate colleges. Explore the basic elements of the college application and learn the ins and outs of the Common Application. Develop your academic/co-curricular profile, learn how to craft a high caliber application and set up your timeline for completion of applications, supplements and essays.
  • **Workshop 2: **College Essay Writing Explore different essay topics and strategies to write a proper admission essay that distinguishes you. As one of the top qualitative measures in the admissions process, your personal essay is an integral part of your application. As a critical aspect of your first impression to an admissions officer, the essay is an opportunity for you to share your stories, adding greater depth and dimension to your application. This workshop includes an overview of fundamental writing skills using real examples of college essays. The focus is on practical tips for writing a great college essay, including finding your voice, brainstorming essay ideas, understanding the prompts, focusing on a theme and the importance of editing and proofreading. **Career Development Workshop: **Thinking about your future and the endless career options can be a daunting task. Luckily, there is so much to choose from and no better time to think about your future career than now! From researching and networking, to cover letters and resumes, and job interviews, learn how to navigate the professional world and how to best prepare for the job market. **Los Angeles Highlights: **
  • Explore Universal Studios, CityWalk and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
  • Take surf lessons with professional instructors at Santa Monica Beach.
  • Look for celebrities on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and their handprints outside of Mann’s Chinese Theater.
  • Check out the characters on Venice Beach and Boardwalk.
  • Visit Santa Monica Pier and soak up the coastal views from the world-famous Ferris Wheel.
  • Relax or play volleyball at Manhattan Beach.
  • Choose from over 100 different cuisines at the Original Farmers Market.
  • Experience Disneyland & Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
  • Attend a Dodgers Major League Baseball game.
  • Stroll along Rodeo Drive.
  • Laugh it up at the IMPROV Comedy Club


Stay on-campus in a UCLA residence.

Athletic Facilities

Unlimited access to the world-class facilities of the UCLA Bruins.


Includes breakfast and dinner daily. Enjoy a variety of options at the dining hall and local restaurants.

Flight to Los Angeles, California As a participant on this program, you may fly on our chaperoned flight from the New York area to Los Angeles. Our leaders greet you at the airport and are with you from check-in onward. For the many travelers from outside the New York area, you may fly to LA and be greeted upon arrival and for flights in designated times, enjoy complimentary transfer from the airport to our UCLA residence. If you prefer, you may be dropped off directly at our UCLA residence and meet your staff there. Return Flight Home from Los Angeles, California For the 21-day program return from Los Angeles, we offer a chaperoned flight back to the New York area. You may choose to join that flight and arrange transfers (if required) at suitable times; or you may fly from LA to your home city and our leaders help you to check in and they remain in the airport until flights in designated times have departed. You may also arrange to be picked up at the UCLA residence if you prefer. Food & Meals A big part of your success depends on how well you eat. We are proud of the fact that year after year we are complimented for our quality, quantity, and choice of food! Breakfasts on this program are served at the UCLA dining hall or grab and go café at Café 1919. For lunch, you enjoy the choice of eating in smaller groups and choosing from small restaurants if you are off campus or the UCLA dining hall or local Westwood restaurant if you are on campus. Dinner is either at the UCLA dining hall or at restaurants. Food options are varied and plentiful. The UCLA dining hall is terrific and features a different menu every night, with staples always available including a fresh salad bar, hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, and pizza. We have satisfied the choosiest of eaters and gladly accommodate most special dietary requests including vegetarian, anaphylactic food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, and kosher style. We welcome discussing your individual requirements with you and have extensive experience in this area. Laundry You will only need one week’s worth of clothing as outlined in the packing list that will be sent to you prior to departure. We have the opportunity to do laundry at your convenience in our residence hall. What’s Included Included in your program tuition is all lodging, breakfast and dinner daily, recreation & entertainment listed, day and weekend excursions, application fee, use of UCLA athletic facilities, Wi-Fi in residence, campus identification fee, courses (supplementary fees may apply for some) airport transfers in designated times, gratuities & taxes.

Session Dates

Any course for a student under the age of 18 includes a transportation option.
Our packages are designed to be all-inclusive. We will contact you after checkout with info of exact items included.

UCLA Pre College ...7/1/20237/21/20233 weeks$7,599.00
UCLA Pre College ...7/1/20237/14/20232 weeks$5,499.00
UCLA Pre College Digital Journalism 21 Days
Start Date7/1/2023
End Date7/21/2023
Duration3 weeks

UCLA Pre College Digital Journalism 14 Days
Start Date7/1/2023
End Date7/14/2023
Duration2 weeks
299 Fremont St, 2110, San Francisco, USA