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About CSPA

CSPA SJW student 2023

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) was founded in 1925 for the purpose of bringing together student journalists and their faculty advisers from different schools around the country to exchange ideas, support each other, and to engage in shared learning. The association is owned and operated by Columbia University.

The mission of CSPA remains the same: to provide support for a healthy student press. Through its events and programs, the association reinforces the value and importance of scholastic journalism and provides resources for its sustenance. 

CSPA serves student media in the following ways: it provides guidance on journalism standards; it unites students through programs and events, providing opportunities to connect; it conducts an awards program to recognize and distinguish exemplary work; and most importantly, supports and trains the next generation of journalists for the important work of maintaining a free press.

Students come from public, private and faith-based schools and colleges throughout the United States and from overseas schools which follow an American plan of education. CSPA also offers virtual programming and instruction for students connecting from around the world.

CSPA is a voluntary membership-based organization. Although it publishes standards and presents awards in recognition of superior performance by its members, it is neither a testing nor an accreditation agency.

CSPA is administered through the Columbia University Pre-College Program at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies.

Jennifer Bensko Ha is the director of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. She is the fourth person to hold this position since the association's founding in 1925. Rebecca Castillo is the associate director of CSPA, where she plans and organizes CSPA’s three annual conventions and workshops. Assistant Director Antonio Rodriguez manages administration and finance.

Founded in 1927, the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association (CSPAA) is a professional organization of teachers  and advisers who are devoted to the development of the student press in accordance with educational practices.

Learn about the history of the CSPA Seal and download a copy of the seal to use in your publication.

Contact us by calling (212) 854-9400 or by emailing cspa [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.