Editor's note: This story was corrected on Oct. 7.
The Next Generation Storytelling project, a one-week summer camp put on by the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, will not continue in future years due to an $11.6 million budget cut that has impacted a variety of departments on campus.
UO created an annual summer camp through the SOJC that offered an immersive experience for 200 nationwide high school students who showed an interest in pursuing a career in journalism. NextGen Storytelling has been teaching students journalistic skills through multimedia classes and giving feedback on their high school projects, such as yearbook pieces or newspaper articles, since 2016.
The program also doubled as an opportunity for prospective students to experience campus life and provoke interest for UO. Vivian Rush, a student at Grant High School in Portland, had the chance to experience NextGen Storytelling this June prior to its termination.
“It was a really interesting experience that told me a lot about the University of Oregon, which was really exciting,” Rush said. “I got to learn a lot about my options and what classes were like.”
NextGen Media’s overall goal is to “ignite young communicators' passion for advertising, journalism, media research, and public relations while honing their creative and critical thinking skills,” according to its mission statement.
Juan-Carlos Molleda, the dean of the SOJC, said that removing the program was a difficult decision for the SOJC to make; however, he said that protecting programs and opportunities for current UO students is the priority.
“We needed to preserve the core components of the university and the SOJC; these are mainly teaching and research,” Molleda said. “We also needed to preserve any type of program that makes contributions to current student success."
The program is permanently removed from the SOJC and will not be returning, due to the costs of faculty. “[Eighty percent] or more of our expenses are personnel expenses. Every school and college has some kind of limitation in terms of the number of faculty members and staff that they can have,” he said. “In the case of the SOJC, we are very large already."
Although the large summer camp will no longer be active on campus, UO will continue to co-sponsor the Fall Media Day with Northwest Scholastic Press on Nov. 6. Fall Media Day is dedicated to prospective high school and middle school journalism students to engage in learning sessions with media professionals and SOJC faculty.
This story was updated on Oct. 7 to correct an error about the creation of the NextGen Storytelling camp. The SOJC created the program, but not in partnership with Northwest Scholastic Press, as the original story stated.