Skip to content
Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
HECUA: Making Media, Making Change: Digital Technologies, Storytelling, and Activism (St. Paul)
St. Paul, United States (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: HECUA 
Restrictions: Gustavus applicants only
Budget Sheets Fall,
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2018 03/12/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring 2019 09/15/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Program Provider:
HECUA - Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs
Program Term(s):
Semester only
Minimum Class Standing:
Minimum GPA:
Previous Language Study Req?:
Language of Instruction:
Language courses offered:
Housing Options:
Residence Hall
Areas of Study:
Communication, Cultural Studies, Digital Arts, Film Studies, Filmmaking, Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, Human Rights, Multicultural Studies, Social Justice
Program Design: Group based, Set Curriculum, Theme based
Additional Program Options:
Creative Project(s), Internship
Program Description:



What happens when six corporations control the production of the films, television, and news the majority of Americans consume? What is lost when the last Black-owned television station is sold? What stock stories are told and retold when media companies are driven by revenue and not by the public good? Join an active learning community that grapples with these questions. Produce films that push back against the homogenization of the corporate media landscape. 

Making Media, Making Change is taught in collaboration with St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), a bustling studio and media access center that puts cameras into the hands of historically underrepresented creators. Students of all experience levels will leave the class with three short films to their credit, including a final work created in collaboration with a local nonprofit. 

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. 

A 4- to 8- credit internship is available with community partner SPNN in the summer following the program. 

Program Outcomes

  • You will be able to explain competing perspectives on how mass media affects individuals and society.
  • You will be able to articulate the power of narrative in social movements, effective and ethical ways to tell someone else’s story, and how you can tell your own story for the purposes of creating change.
  • You will grow in your understanding of your own personal relationship with both mass media and new media and how it impacts your daily life, your relationships, and your capacity to tell an authentic, effective story.
  • You will strengthen your creative voice and create a collaborative community-based art installation that leverages your technical skill set, theoretical perspective, and artistic vision.
  • You will become embedded in a local site of democratic media production (Saint Paul Neighborhood Network) and be able to articulate its role in community building and social change.
  • You will gain videography, production, and editing skills and understand how to apply these skills towards change-making media.
  • You will know how to work with a community client to deliver a professional quality video that reflects your client’s needs and requests.

Flexible Program Structure 

This program consists of two linked courses (8 credits total). The topics we will cover in the program are complex and interrelated, though you will receive separate grades for the following 2 semester classes:

From Consumers to Creators (4 Credits)
Digital Laboratory (4 Credits)

Due to the interrelated nature of the content and field experiences, you are required to take both courses simultaneously (in other words, you cannot only sign up for only one of the courses). You can continue to take classes on your home campus in addition to the 8 HECUA credits. This gives you the flexibility to continue making progress on campus while engaging in an immersive, experiential, community-based program.

Community Partnership

We are very excited to be partnering with the St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN). SPNN is a non-profit community media center located in the Lowertown neighborhood in downtown St. Paul. SPNN serves the residents of St. Paul and the Twin Cities metro area with training, tools, and programs so that people are better equipped to make media that matters. SPNN’s mission is to empower people to use media and communications to better lives, use authentic voice and build common understanding. The purpose of partnering with SPNN is twofold. First, SPNN staff will provide technical training, equipment, and production support for the Digital Laboratory course. Second, SPNN will be your living classroom, allowing you to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with community media and public access television as they relate to core theoretical questions around democracy, political economy, and cultural reproduction. SPNN will serve as the “hub” through which you will meet a diverse set of actors in the Twin Cities committed to using digital media to build community and create change. These actors include SPNN staff, policy makers, community producers, and members of SPNN’s audience. To learn more about SPNN visit


In an effort to reduce participation barriers and to foster a more dynamic community atmosphere for students who enroll in Twin Cities programs, HECUA now provides space in a HECUA house available to all students who apply and indicate interest on a first-come, first-served basis. Housing is $1,200 per academic term.

Noting an interest in and need for housing is now part of the overall application process. For more information including student eligibility, deadlines, and the application itself visit HECUA's Housing Program.

Degree Level

Bachelors Degree (Undergraduate)
  • Qualifications

* You must have completed your first year in college
* You must be in good academic standing
* You must meet all requirements of the specific HECUA program
* You must complete all home campus requirements for off-campus study

All students are welcome on HECUA programs. Selection is based on your completed application, past academic performance, recommendations, and the match between the program and your own interests, goals and expectations. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • Internship information

Apply your digital skills in the community right away! You have the option to continue on after your Making Media, Making Change coursework as an intern at Saint Paul Neighborhood Network. Internships are offered every summer directly following the Making Media, Making Change spring program. During this internship, working a minimum of 200 hours, you would:
  • Build on your Digital Laboratory skills to create programming for SPNN.
  • Produce professional-level videos for SPNN’s community clients.
  • Assist in the daily work of the organization.
  • Teach community producers basic video production skills and act as a resource for community programming.
  • Meet weekly with program faculty and classmates to reflect on your work, integrate your internship with program content, and receive support toward accomplishing your individual learning goals.
  • Leave with a stronger professional portfolio and network of relationships and references. 
  • Get 8 academic credits for a minimum of 200 internship hours.
You must have completed the Making Media, Making Change program to participate in this internship. HECUA will continue to serve as the collaborative “hub” through which you will strengthen your relationships with the diverse set of actors in the Twin Cities committed to using digital media to share their voices and build community. You will also have the opportunity to contribute to public access and nonprofit programming and create professional quality video for community partners including non-profit organizations in the Twin Cities.
  • Languages

  • Program fees:

Program fees vary - check the website, here, for up-to-date pricing information.
  • Cost Include Description:

Tuition, internship placement and supervision and all course related field visits.
  • Experience Required

  • Scholarships are Available

HECUA provides $750 Scholarships for Community Engagement, $1,500 Scholarships for Social Justice, and four $4,000 Scholarships for Racial Justice for semester-length programs each fall and spring. More information about the application process for scholarships is available on the HECUA website, here, or by contacting the organization.

Gustavus information

Note: Gustavus students may only participate in this program on a full-time basis – what HECUA identifies as 16 semester credits (4 Gustavus units), which will include 8 semester credits (2 Gustavus units) of internship.

HECUA. Gustavus belongs to the HECUA Consortium, so we are a part of the organization that offers this program. Any eligible Gustavus student is welcome to participate in this program.

Application process. Gustavus students will first apply for Gustavus approval through this website. Once approved by Gustavus to participate, you will then complete an online HECUA application as well. Note that Gustavus has a nonrefundable application fee of $70 (required for all Gustavus study away applicants), and that HECUA has a separate nonrefundable application fee of $50.

Advising at Gustavus. If you would like to speak with a Gustavus program advisor, please see our Advising page for more information.