Enrichment Courses

Chose one course from the options earning 4 college credits during your stay or two enrichment courses.

(4 College Credits)

Whether you want to make compelling documentaries or blockbuster feature films, you need to understand the basics before anyone yells, “Action!” This high-altitude introduction lets students actually make a film while learning every aspect: direction, cinematography, editing — even special effects and soundtracks. Learn the details of screenwriting from initial story idea to final draft. Experience how directing, paired with cinematography and smart lighting, bring a script to life. Ground yourself in the important technical essentials, from the best equipment to the right way to select film stock or digital video gear. You’ll also get a VIP private tour at the Warner Brothers Studio back lot to see a Hollywood production in action, and then eat in the private WB restaurant. Who knows, you might be on your way to becoming the next Spielberg!

Screenwriting (4 College Credits)

Are you an aspiring Quentin Tarantino or Diablo Cody? Do you have awesome movie ideas? This course develops those natural storytelling skills in ways that shape a film’s plot, structure and characters, as well as honing the script’s descriptive writing. You’ll learn the industry standard for formatting a script, practice writing short scripts, and then draft your own original feature. You’ll also pitch your story to Hollywood producers to see if they might be interested in your screenplay. Get ready to see your story on the big screen!

Acting (4 College Credits)

If making it to the silver screen is your dream, then start in the land where stars go to hit it big. You’ll explore the fundamentals of acting, finding your motivation, and creating dynamic scenes through conflict and resolution, while mastering any sense of stage fright. You’ll also gain the benefit of practicing these elements through both individual and duo-scene performances. Refine your talent further by engaging in the most popular acting theories, including Constantin Stanislavski’s “magic if,” Lee Strasberg’s “method,” and the Meisner technique. To complete your acting class, you’ll also participate in a live audition with Emmy-nominated casting director Fern Champion.

Directing (4 College Credits)

Develop the essential, real-life skill set necessary to navigate a shooting set as director and crew and experience the creative process from the actor’s point of view. You’ll analyze and break down scripts to understand characters, dialog, and story as you learn how the most successful director develop rapport with their actors. Gain get hands-on experience using pro level equipment to block and stage action for the camera, make aesthetic choices in the moment and learn the ins and outs of the casting process using professional-level facilities, standing sets, studios and equipment.

Cinematography (4 College Credits)

Create a visual mood using a wide array of industry-standard lighting and camera equipment with individualized guidance from experienced professional Hollywood cinematographers. Gain advanced knowledge in lighting and camera essentials to better learn how to “Write with Light”. You’ll experience hands-on training and learn the inner workings of a wide array of cameras from 16mm to 35mm cameras, to the digital Alexa and Red cameras used on today’s Hollywood feature films. You will even create and be the Director of Cinematography on a series of challenging mini-scenes that tell a story without the need for dialogue.

Editing (4 College Credits)

Immerse yourself in the real-life role of the digital film editor as you learn to tell screen stories in the most entertaining and exciting way possible. From studying the language and theory of editing to practicing your skills by creating a demo reel, this course has all the bases covered. You’ll experience hands-on training in Columbia College Hollywood’s industry-standard digital suites using the same editing software used by professional Hollywood editors.

Producing for New Media (4 College Credits)

Develop the essential skillset necessary to produce and launch web-based content for a variety of new media genres, including made-for-streaming series, games, and apps. You’ll write, shoot, and produce a pilot for your own original web series and crew on your classmates’ projects using industry-standard gear, sets, and facilities.

Animation, Visual Effects & Motion Graphics (4 College Credits)

From training in technical concept design, photography, digital media, design for the Web and interactive graphic animation, this course has all the bases covered. You’ll experience hands-on training in the use of computer software to create digital graphics, and get familiar with the powerful applications used to create motion graphics and visual effects. You’ll also learn how to utilize text and object animations, compositing videos and images, and adding audio and effects.

Fashion (4 College Credits)

Do you have an eye for the work of Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and other top designers? This intensive program will help you hone your fashion sense and express yourself at the same time! You’ll learn how to combine colors, shapes, fabrics and textures to create a look that’s all your own. You might start the next fashion craze! You’ll learn essential fashion design concepts, and study the skills needed to bring fashion vision to the runway. You’ll experiment with fashion sketching, pattern-making, sewing, and construction. You’ll have access to a variety of materials and styles, both classic and contemporary.

Digital Photography (Beginner and Advanced)

Photography has evolved more dramatically than any other art form, and digital technology has revolutionized how we take pictures. This hands-on course will introduce you to both the basics of taking great digital pictures and advanced tricks for making them even more creative and compelling. You’ll learn how to crop images, adjust color and contrast, and save your work as a great keepsake of your ACA experience! Whether you hope to shoot fashion models and rock stars, capture images of rare animals in the wild or just want to take good vacation photos, this course is picture perfect! Please note: Some studio time outside of regular class is required, and students must supply their own cameras.

Culinary Arts

Find your inner Emeril! Everyone should know his or her way around the kitchen. In this appetizing course, students get comfortable with cuisine and understand that preparing food is a delicious art. You’ll learn gourmet tricks and tips that are sure to satisfy. For your final project, you’ll really get cooking, preparing special meals for fellow ACA students and staff. Bon appetít!

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Are you afraid of studying in the United States because you don’t trust your English skills? This course will improve your English skills as a certified ESL teacher helps you along. Semi-private classes are designed to help you, no matter what your level of English proficiency. This course will help you develop skills in pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, reading, listening comprehension, and oral and written communication.

“The Project Discovery Pre College Program in LA helped me prepare for my future and was an experience I will absolutely NEVER forget! Nothing beats summer in Southern California!”

Brett M. / New York

Radio Broadcasting & Production

Want to be the next controversial radio talk-show host? Perhaps you want to be a radio news or sports reporter! Learn how you can use your personality to convey excitement to your listeners. You’ll get experience in both live and pre-taped environments, learning how to sweeten sound, mix voices and music, and perform in front of the microphone with a smooth, assured voice.

Sports Reporting

If you dream of becoming a reporter for ESPN or Sports Illustrated, this course is a terrific first step. Learn what it takes to convey the excitement of an event or an athlete to your audience. You’ll not only learn how to record facts and statistics, but also how to weave them into a compelling story worthy of any reader or listener anywhere! See you on the beat!

Mastering Social Media & Web Design

These days everything — and everyone — is online. This course explains how social media has not only revolutionized the social fabric, but also how to create a one-of-a-kind web site. When it comes to social media, learn about the international ramifications, risks to your privacy, and how to best navigate the newest communication technologies. For Web design, gain knowledge of HTML, Flash, JavaScript and the latest software-development technologies essential to smart web work. So whether you’re the next social media savant or Web-design darling, this course is sure to get you there!

College Admissions & Survival

Looking to be accepted at your dream school and then survive there? This class gives you intensive work on the college entrance application and tips to survive freshman year while keeping your sanity. This course focuses on writing effective admissions essays, getting noticed during interviews, mastering study success in a college environment, library research and winning test strategies. Teachers will keep you on your toes as you navigate this comprehensive course.

Health & Wellness (Yoga, Nutrition & Fitness)

Everyone knows that a good diet and plenty of exercise are the keys to good health, but what’s going to work best for you? Are you a vegetarian yogi or a protein-pounding weight lifter? Whatever your well-being interest, this course will help you balance mind, body and spirit, discussing progressive fitness techniques and intelligent approaches to nutrition.

SAT & ACT Prep

These intensive 3-week courses build the skills you need to improve your college admissions test scores. Offering complete diagnostic evaluations each week, students will get the practice they need to prepare for either of these challenging exams. Intensive classroom instruction will help students prepare for all test sections, which can be the key to decreasing test anxiety, increasing test preparedness and maximizing test performance. The full SAT or ACT review includes all books, diagnostic exams and classroom materials. ACA students in our Wisconsin program will work with Kaplan Test Prep for their SAT and ACT preparation. Kaplan is renowned for consistently helping students earn the scores that reflect their true ability, helping secure admission to the schools of their choice!
Supplemental fee: $695 
Please note: SAT and ACT courses will run approximately one hour longer than the other courses. However, the extended class time will not interfere with any other regularly scheduled ACA activities.


Admissions professionals use TOEFL (the Test of English as a Foreign Language) to determine the proficiency of non-native English speakers enrolling in American colleges and universities. If English is not your first language, a TOEFL course can better prepare you for this critical test. You get intensive instruction, smart test strategies, and plenty of verbal and written practice to help you achieve your desired score. A full-length TOEFL diagnostic exam is included.
Supplemental fee: $695

Introduction to Psychology

The mind is a limitless frontier. What do we know about its inner workings? You will get insight into what makes people tick in this popular introductory course. You’ll study personality and psychological development, attitudes, cognition and intelligence. And you will learn a bit about how you think and feel yourself.

Advertising, Marketing & Popular Culture

From sports stars selling SUVs to pop singers selling soda, advertising and marketing is a huge part of our culture. Sure, it is essential to business, but it also reflects our society. How do advertisers and marketers determine the best way to influence consumers? What campaigns are the most effective? What new trends is technology creating? If you’re planning on influencing others through advertising, public relations or marketing, understanding these concepts will be essential. Get a head start!


Entrepreneurial Excellence – From Initial Concept to the Final Product

Launching your own company isn’t for everyone. Only the most daring, determined types need apply, but if you have what it takes, you’ll be in the same league as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, or Google guys Larry Page and Sergey Brin. If you’re ready to develop your own startup, this course could be your first step on the road to success! You’ll create a business plan, hoping to cash in on your innovation and creativity. Research your market, work up a template to put your plan into action, and let your inner entrepreneur take command.


Journalism & the Art of Interviewing

Everyone knows that we live in a fast-paced, information-dependent culture – and we need skilled, entertaining personalities to provide us with what we need to know. Whether it’s serious news served up CNN style or a lighthearted late-night talk show, anchors, hosts and reporters have worked hard to ask compelling questions and create engaging interview styles. You’ll study classic ways to cover a story, interview a celebrity and interact with an audience. Stick with it and you could become one of the trusted faces we see on TV every night!