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Skills Intensives

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

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.

Strategic Communication and Public Relations

Fall 2019-20 session: October 11th, 2019

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

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.

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.


  • 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. Learn more.