UArizona School of Journalism joins NBCUniversal News Group's NBCU Academy

student taking photos of the border

A University of Arizona journalism student takes pictures during a border reporting field trip to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Courtesy of the School of Journalism

The University of Arizona School of Journalism has been named one of the newest members of the NBCU Academy, an award-winning journalism training program that builds a pipeline from classrooms to the newsroom.

UArizona is one of 15 schools named to NBCU Academy this year. The schools join 30 other colleges and universities that were already part of the program, NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced Thursday.

Since the academy's inception in 2021, academy partners have received funding, resources, training and development – in addition to access to the NBCU News Group's world-class journalists.

"We are very glad we are receiving this support because it will not only help our journalism students, but also those who are part of the bilingual journalism program," UArizona School of Journalism Director Jessica Retis said. "The society is in need of journalists who can produce stories that will serve diverse communities in our country, city and state."

NBCUniversal News Group will provide the School of Journalism with funds to develop new course curriculum on bilingual journalism and reporting. Most of the funds will create new scholarships for students in journalism and media studies.

"With scholarships, I've been able to be part of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, which gave me the opportunity to intern at CNBC for the summer of 2022," said Vanessa Lucero, a master's student in the university's bilingual journalism program. "If it weren’t for scholarships, I wouldn't be in Tucson furthering my education to help me shape the journalist I want to become."

In 2018, the University of Arizona was recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution for its commitment to serving Hispanic students. The partnership with NBCU Academy will support further advancement in this area through School of Journalism programs.

The other new academic partners are:

  • UC Berkeley M.E.T. in Berkeley, California
  • Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, Minnesota
  • Helena College – University of Montana in Helena, Montana
  • Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver in Denver, Colorado
  • Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham Oregon
  • Nevada State College in Henderson, Nevada
  • Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • The Ohio State University College of Engineering and School of Communication in Columbus, Ohio
  • Texas Southern University, School of Communication in Houston, Texas
  • United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota
  • University of Central Florida, Nicholson School of Communication and Media, in Orlando, Florida
  • University of Missouri School of Journalism, in Columbia, Missouri

"This expansion is a direct result of the success we've had with our partners," said Yvette Miley, senior vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion for NBCU News Group. "We are proud to build off the momentum of the past two years and continue the program's impact as we grow further in the Western region."

Conde also announced Thursday that NBCU Academy is offering a course on the fundamentals of journalism, which is publicly available on the redesigned for journalism students and media professionals. The free course builds a foundation for newsgathering and storytelling through firsthand lectures and curriculum produced by journalists and leaders across NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Noticias Telemundo. Through a series of online modules, the course provides interactive scenarios and best practices on the essentials of reporting, journalism ethics, interviewing skills and more.

"For the School of Journalism in the digital era we need to work together with the profession, the industry and the community, so this partnership with NBCU is helping us facilitate a bridge from the newsroom to the classroom," Retis said.

This spring, NBCU Academy will present its third Next Level Summit on March 22. The free, all-day virtual program will feature journalists and executives across the NBCU portfolio and offer networking, headlining sessions and breakout discussions on trends that are transforming the media industry. NBCU Academy hosted two summits in 2022, which were attended by nearly 4,000 participants, including students and media professionals worldwide.

Ruxandra Guidi, a UArizona journalism professor assistant director of the bilingual journalism program, said, "I am most thankful to the NBCU Academy for extending their professional development program to our school, starting with their free online instruction and extensive digital content. This next generation of storytellers and enterprise reporters will reap great benefits from this partnership, particularly our bilingual and global media students."

NBCU Academy has provided students from underrepresented communities a pipeline into newsrooms across media and technology. The academy's Embed Program creates roles for recent graduates from partner schools and institutions with diverse student populations. In two years, NBCU Academy has assigned 11 embeds full-time, two-year job assignments across the News Group's on-air and digital platforms; marketing; global talent development and inclusion; data sciences; and diversity, equity and inclusion.