The school is the center of statewide activity concerning journalism education in middle and secondary schools. Two associations are involved, N.C. Scholastic Media Association (NCSMA) and N.C. Scholastic Media Advisers Association (NCSMAA).
NCSMA, formerly N.C. Scholastic Press Association, was founded in the late 1930s and has a history of leadership and service. Its name was changed in 1995 to include the electronic and now digital media. Principal activities are a statewide contest and critique service in the spring, an annual institute in June and regional workshops in the fall.
The institute draws hundreds of students and publication advisers to Chapel Hill for four days of intensive training in electronic media; newspaper, yearbook and literary magazine journalism; desktop publishing; online news; photojournalism; and scholastic media advising. NCSMA offers opportunities for problem-solving, networking and creativity. Fall regional workshops on college campuses throughout the state take journalism education to some 1,200 high school students and advisers each year, from the mountains to the coast.