Alternative Spring Break (ASB) typically lasts eight days during spring break in March. The learning begins before the trip, as participants attend lecture and recitations designed to prepare them for the challenges and issues they will confront. Through alternative breaks, students have opportunities for hands-on work while learning about the bigger issues behind the issues they are addressing.
During break, students apply what they are learning about the focus issues and communities at different sites through direct and indirect service as well as advocacy work. An emphasis is placed on reflection throughout the experience and following the students’ return.
The alternative spring break experience includes a two-credit hour, pass/fail course in which students examine theories behind community service, coalition building, community asset development as well as specific issues relative to the communities where they volunteer.
- Latino Issues: Students explore issues affecting migrant workers and Latino communities in North Carolina including labor rights, pesticide use and access to healthcare.
- Rural Poverty: Students work with local organizations to gain a better understanding of education, health and infrastructure issues that affect a rural North Carolina community in poverty.
- Urban Poverty: Participants learn about poverty and homelessness in a larger urban area. Issues explored in previous trips include hunger and food access, addiction and health.
- Civil Rights: Participants explore a wide variety of current civil and human rights issues, ranging from gender equality and educational inequities to food availability and gay rights.
- Disaster Relief: An experience that can vary based on storm season, disaster relief participants explore many aspects of disaster management including policy, access to aid and rebuilding efforts.
When applying, students may indicate a preference for Rural Poverty, Latino Issues, Urban Poverty, Civil Rights or Disaster Relief.
2013 Alternative Spring Break Timeline
Interested in becoming a break leader? Learn more and apply online! Applications due, April 6, 2013.