You are here: Skills Intensives

Contact Us

McKinley Building

School of Communication 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

Back to top

Skills Intensives and Master Classes

Immerse yourself to enhance your professional skills

A series of one-credit certifications for graduate students and working professionals designed to sharpen professional skills. 

These courses provide an opportunity for students to take a deep dive to learn and hone a skill valued in the field of strategic communication.

In-person seminar sessions will give students an oppurtunity to put learning into practice. AU students might consider taking a grouping of three one-credit courses in place of an elective. Check with your advisor to confirm which courses will be counted for credit. 

Film and Media Arts Master Classes

Have you ever finished editing a project only to find yourself struggling to find the right color balance and contrast for your film? If so, this course is for you.

In one day you will learn how to export a film from your NLE- Premiere Pro or Final Cut X- and import it into Davinci Resolve 16. You will then learn to group your shots and apply a comprehensive color correction to each clip- luminance, color balance, contrast, saturation, and shot matching.

Once you have finished color-correcting, you will then learn how to apply a filmic color grade to your project by leveraging film LUTs and grain.

Lastly you will learn how to export your graded project out of Davinci and back into your preferred NLE for final output.

As a result of this course, you will leave with the practical skills to grade any future project. More importantly, your film’s credibility will substantially increase through your refine use of light of color.

Character strengths are a scientifically-validated pathway to help you improve your life, work, and relationships. Your character strengths are the qualities that come most naturally to you.

When you know your strengths, you can enrich your life and thrive. Research shows that people who use their strengths on a regular basis are eighteen times more likely to flourish than those who do not use their strengths.

In this six-hour hands-on workshop, led by AU SOC Adjunct Professor, Dara Padwo-Audick, M.A., C.P.C, ELI- MP, we'll use the VIA Character Strengths Survey to help you discover your greatest strengths. Through a combination of small group and individual exercises you will uncover the transformational power of character strengths in several ways:

  • You will learn to use your strengths to handle stress and life challenges, to become happier, and to develop relationships with those who matter most to you.
  • You will understand how using your strengths can enable you to find the career path that is best for you or make the career path that you’re already on more meaningful.
  • For writers, actors, and directors, you will find out how to apply character strengths to the characters that you create to make them more compelling and believable.

Workshop instructor, Dara Padwo-Audick, has been an adjunct professor at AU SOC since 2004 where she teaches a variety of writing, producing, and communications courses. In her practice as a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Practitioner, Dara works with executives, social entrepreneurs, and creative types to help them become more focused, more connected to themselves and others, and more confident about the next steps on their paths.

Websites:
http://creativestrategies.tv/
http://www.enlightenedchangecoaching.com/

Learn the skills to write compelling film and television scripts in SOC's Screenwriting Intensive.

What makes the difference between film and television productions that are phenomenal successes and those that vanish without a trace? The answer lies in a unique combination of artistic vision, exceptional story structure, and original theme.

This one-day intensive seminar taught by seasoned film and television writer John Weiskopf, will present the critical skills and knowledge to make your scripts stand out. 

In this class you will learn how to:

  • Transform a rough idea into a treatment that lays out the essential story components
  • Craft an engaging and strategically paced narrative structure
  • Create compelling characters, settings, and scenes
  • Write crisp, realistic dialogue

During the six-hour seminar, John will use clips and provide handouts as you deep dive into two current benchmarks in film and television entertainment: the Academy Award winner for Best Original Screenplay Get Out and the Emmy Award winner for Best Television series Breaking Bad.

Besides the lecture component, the seminar offers an active discussion of the most successful films and episodic TV shows with a particular emphasis on understanding their script structures. You will discuss contemporary themes, character design, protagonist and antagonist internal and external conflicts, plot complications, key plot points, and a script’s turning points.

Film Master Classes FAQ

SOC Master Classes are full day workshops designed for working professionals.

Professionals taking a Master Class workshop will be charged $350.

Please register and pay through Eventbrite.

The cost of the Master Class workshop is payable via credit card through Eventbrite.

Master Class workshop participants will receive 100% refund up to three days prior to course start date. Log into Eventbrite and cancel your registration. Eventbrite will issue the refund.

The Master Class workshop will be held in a classroom with computers. It is recommended that participants bring their own laptop.

You can find parking information, as well as the location of the McKinley Building, on the campus parking map.

Parking is free on all campus lots during the weekends and after 5:00PM M-F. (For events taking place during the weekdays before 5:00 PM, paid parking is available in the Katzen Arts Center or School of International Service underground garages). There is also a free shuttle to AU from the Tenleytown-AU Metro Station that runs every 10 minutes.

Before traveling to the university, please visit American University’s homepage. In the event of an emergency or severe weather, the university operating status will be posted there. Should the university be forced to close, all classes will be canceled.

 

Strategic Communication Skills Intensives

SOC's one day, one credit digital analytics intensive introduces you to the basic tools and techniques for analyzing digital communications. Learn how to use digital research to shape an overall strategic plan and craft best practices that grow and sustain brand relationships. This class includes instruction in the analytics and social and media monitoring platform Meltwater, specifically how to build and learn from an effective Meltwater dashboard. 

Taught by veteran strategic communicator Jason Mollica, this hybrid (on-campus/online) class covers these essentials:

  • The basic tools and techniques to analyze digital communications
  • How digital research can shape an overall strategic plan
  • Best practices to grow and sustain brand relationships
  • Real-time Meltwater dashboard development and feedback

Integrated into the course, which can be taken either for credit or non-credit, is the ability to earn a Meltwater Certification. Prior to the in-person session, students will need to complete the online Meltwater training and earn Meltwater certification. (Example)

Morning coffee and lunch are provided as part of the registration. Learn more and register.

Learning how to develop an effective proposal including RFP responses and grant proposals is a critical skill for anyone working in strategic communications. Whether you work at an agency, consultancy, as an independent contractor, or at a non-profit, this course, taught by veteran strategic planner Rafif Jouejati, will help you write compelling and compliant proposals in response to RFPs and grants as well as differentiate your employer from the competition using industry best practices.

Learn:

  • Conduct a competitive analysis
  • Identify strong winning themes and differentiators
  • Develop engaging value propositions
  • Employ best-practices for proposal development

Morning coffee and lunch are provided as part of the registration.

In the competitive field of strategic communication and public relations, having the ability to successfully garner media attention is the key to professional success. “Media Pitching Skills + Cision Certification Class,” geared toward current PR professionals as well as those looking to enter the field, delivers access to skills that can give you the edge to succeed.

Taught by industry pro Dina Martinez, this hybrid (on-campus/online) class explores what makes a pitch newsworthy, how to build and maintain targeted media lists, write effective pitch emails, and practice pitching skills. Students will work independently online to engage with content before the class meets and then come to campus to participate in a half-day, intensive seminar.

Integrated into the course, which can be taken either for credit or non-credit, is 20 hours of online training to master marketing/PR software from Cision, one of the most widely used systems in the industry for tracking earned media performance.

  • 20 Hours of Online Training
  • 1 Credit Skills Course
  • Cision Certificatation

Morning coffee and lunch are provided as part of the registration. 

Questions? Email dmartine@american.edu.

Intensives FAQ for AU Students

SOC Skills Intensives are ½ day courses designed for AU graduate students and students pursuing the combined bachelor’s/master’s degrees.

Skills Intensive courses are offered for-credit or non-credit.
Credit courses are designed for current AU students who are interested in earning college credit toward a degree or certificate. Additional course work is required for credit courses versus non-credit option.

Non-credit courses are not applicable toward a degree.

After you have enrolled and completed the course, AU will not be able to switch your course from non-credit to credit or vice versa.

For-credit: AU students taking the Skills Intensive course that is applied towards their degree will enroll in COMM-690 Independent Study and billed for 1-credit ($1,759 for 2019-2020).

Non-credit: AU graduate students taking the Skills Intensive course that is not applied towards their degree will be charged $575.

For-credit: AU students taking the Skills Intensive course that is applied towards their degree should email Jean McGee, SOC’s Sr. Graduate Academic Adviser (jmcgee@american.edu), with their name, AU ID number and the name of the Skills Intensive course for which they would like to register. The deadline to submit the request is one day prior to the start of the course.

Non-credit: AU graduate students taking the Skills Intensive course that is not applied towards their degree should register through Eventbrite.

For-credit: AU students taking the Skills Intensive course that is applied towards their degree pay through the Eagle Service link available on the myAU Portal(myau.american.edu).

Non-credit: AU graduate students taking the Skills Intensive course that is not applied towards their degree pay through Eventbrite

For credit: AU students can register up to one day prior to the Skills Intensive course start date. Students will receive 100 % refund if they drop the course one day prior to class start date. After that no refunds will be issued. If you are eligible for a refund please contact Student Accounts(aucentral@american.edu).

Non-credit: Skills Intensive workshop participants will receive 100% refund up to three days prior to course start date. Log into Eventbrite (add link) and cancel your registration. Eventbrite will issue the refund.

Once students complete the course, they may request a transcript from American University’s Registrar’s Office by emailing registrar@american.edu.

The deadline to change the grade type is one day prior to the Skills Intensive course start date.

For-credit: AU students taking the Skills Intensive course towards their degree will earn a letter grade (A-F)

Non-credit: AU graduate students taking the Skills Intensive course that is not applied towards their degree will earn Pass/Fail.

After you have enrolled and completed the course, AU will not be able to switch your course from non-credit to credit or vice versa.

The Skills Intensive workshop will be held in a classroom with computers. It is recommended that participants bring their own laptop.

You can find parking information, as well as the location of the McKinley Building, on the campus parking map.

Parking is free on all campus lots during the weekends and after 5:00PM M-F. (For events taking place during the weekdays before 5:00 PM, paid parking is available in the Katzen Arts Center or School of International Service underground garages). There is also a free shuttle to AU from the Tenleytown-AU Metro Station that runs every 10 minutes.

Before traveling to the university, please visit American University’s homepage. In the event of an emergency or severe weather, the university operating status will be posted there. Should the university be forced to close, all classes will be canceled.

Intensives FAQ FOR WORKING PROFESSIONALS

SOC Skills Intensives are ½ day workshops designed for working professionals.

Professionals taking a Skills Intensive workshop will be charged $575.

Please register and pay through Eventbrite.

The cost of the Skills Intensive workshop is payable via credit card through Eventbrite.

Please register and pay through Eventbrite.

Skills Intensive workshop participants will receive 100% refund up to three days prior to course start date. Log into Eventbrite and cancel your registration. Eventbrite will issue the refund.

The Skills Intensive workshop will be held in a classroom with computers. It is recommended that participants bring their own laptop.

You can find parking information, as well as the location of the McKinley Building, on the campus parking map.

Parking is free on all campus lots during the weekends and after 5:00PM M-F. (For events taking place during the weekdays before 5:00 PM, paid parking is available in the Katzen Arts Center or School of International Service underground garages). There is also a free shuttle to AU from the Tenleytown-AU Metro Station that runs every 10 minutes.

Before traveling to the university, please visit American University’s homepage. In the event of an emergency or severe weather, the university operating status will be posted there. Should the university be forced to close, all classes will be canceled.