Meet creators challenging mainstream media narratives and building social movements with their stories. Develop the skills you need to tell your own.
Media and Movements: Storytelling for Justice is a holistic program centered on how storytelling is a vital tool for community agency, long term solidarity and social change.
Narrative is the lens through which we see the world and a tool we can use to shape it. Students spend the semester exploring the ways in which storytelling and media can either reinforce dominant narratives or disrupt them, amplifying different perspectives and possibilities. As an active learning community, they ask: What are the stories that inform our values and motivate us to act? What narratives are we seeing and why? How can storytelling play a role in organizing for change? Which voices are amplified? How can our narratives – and the media that relay them – center those most impacted by oppressive systems? How can our narratives reveal not just our pain, but also our dreams?
By the end of the semester, all students will have the skills needed to produce multi-media that inform, inspire, and activate.
Media and Movements
is taught in collaboration with the St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), a community media center that puts cameras into the hands of historically marginalized producers. Students of all experience levels have the opportunity to hone their artistic and creative voice by producing three original films, including a final work created in collaboration with a local nonprofit. In addition to hands-on training, students meet artists, community leaders, and activists committed to creating media that matters. Student work is situated in the context of a growing movement to make media accessible, relevant, and reflective of diverse voices.
In addition to hands-on training, students meet the leaders of the local media justice landscape. Students see their work situated in the context of a growing movement to make media accessible, relevant, and reflective of the diverse voices demanding to be heard.
Credits & Courses
Courses are taken as an integrated whole and provide a semester’s worth of credit (i.e. 16 semester credits). HECUA’s courses provide upper level credits, and nearly all students obtain significant major and minor credits for participating in this program. HECUA staff are available to assist students in negotiating credit transfers.
- From Consumers to Creators (4 Credits)
- Digital Laboratory (4 Credits)
- Internship (8 credits)
Total: Students complete all courses for a total of 16 semester credits.
HECUA designs an internship experience for all students that meets personal learning goals and connects program themes. Past internships sites include Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, Line Break Media, and Lily Springs Farm. Students can expect to spend 12-15 hours/week in their internship.
HECUA programs are highly experiential, interdisciplinary and integrated. We go beyond the classroom. By combining theory and praxis, you will apply classroom knowledge to real-world work in an internship with a local organization that is working to advance movements for justice and equity. Students and faculty are seen as co-teachers and co-learners. Through HECUA, you will gain hands-on experience, develop new skills, make connections, build your resume, and develop your own capacity to make change.
Why Study in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN)?
There are many reasons to consider study away in the Twin Cities. Here are just a few of HECUA’s top reasons, why you should consider this location as a great space to go beyond the classroom. Click here to read more
"At its core, this program is grounded in a belief that storytelling is a powerful vehicle that can be used to change the world.” - Darby, University of Minnesota. Click here to read more student stories.
Health and Safety
HECUA has been vigilantly and constantly monitoring the evolving conditions of COVID-19, including tracking updates from the Minnesota Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, the US Department of State and other credible sources. Click here to view HECUA's most recent COVID-19 updates.
Students from institutions outside the Twin Cities are welcome to participate. While housing is not included in the program fees, HECUA staff are available to assist students with finding housing. HECUA is able to offer housing at an additional to cost through one of our local consortium member universities. Please contact email@example.com if you would like more information about housing.
Check the HECUA website for the current fees. These fees include include tuition, nearly all reading materials, some field visits (including meals while traveling), and tickets to events and opportunities associated with the program.
This program is open to any undergraduate students currently enrolled in a US college or university who have completed their first year of college and maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, although any applicant with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.5 will receive additional review. Prospective students are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any other eligibility questions.
No prior experience required
Students with some or no media making experience are welcome in this program.
HECUA offers multiple scholarships to students each term. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) students, first-generation students, and students from low-income backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Students are also encouraged to contact their institutions financial aid office.Visit our website to learn more.
- Submit an application to HECUA.
- Submit an application to HECUA to study off-campus through your home institution.
- Contact email@example.com for more information.
- November 1st - early bird scholarship deadline for spring US programs
- December 1st - spring US programs deadline
- March 1st - early bird scholarship deadline for summer and fall programs
- April 15th - summer and fall US programs deadline
The local HECUA office and staff organize cultural activities, academics, and housing and provide onsite student support.
Visit the HECUA page for all program information including: academics, course dates, cost, housing and excursions.
Application Process for Other Approved Programs
This program is offered through one of our approved program partners. In order to participate you must apply through, and be approved, by both St. Thomas and the program.
Attend a first-step session. Dates posted online at stthomas.edu/studyabroad.
Schedule an advising meeting. This meeting will review:
any questions you have about studying abroad, including program selection if you are considering multiple programs.
the course approval process
how to apply to Other Approved Programs
Notify your study abroad advisor of final program selection.
Complete all St. Thomas application materials by the St. Thomas application deadline.
Complete program application via the program’s website by their deadline.
University of St. Thomas application deadlines:
October 1 for January Term and spring semester programs
March 15 for summer, fall semester and year-long programs.
Please note that some programs have deadlines earlier than St. Thomas.
St Thomas Criteria for ParticipationMinimum grade point average of 2.5.
Students may not apply for, maintain an approved application, nor participate in a Study Abroad program while on academic or conduct probation. Any disciplinary records may be a consideration for approval to participate in an off-campus programs.
View all eligibility requirements for study abroad through St. Thomas: stthomas.edu/studyabroad > Student Policies.
Some programs have additional criteria.
Financial Aid Awards (grants, loans and scholarships) typically apply to study abroad. Visit stthomas.edu/financialaid for instructions.
The Office of Study Abroad, and other approved program partners, offers scholarships. Visit stthomas.edu/studyabroad, and the program’s website, for details.
For additional program information, contact the program partner.
For application procedures contact Study Abroad.
Office of Study Abroad
University of St. Thomas
MHC 212 (Mail 5026)
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105-1096 USA