Alternative Spring Break

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The Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program takes place in the spring semester through both classroom interaction and an immersive experience for eight days during spring break in March.

The learning begins before spring break as participants attend classroom sessions designed to prepare them to engage in discussion and service centered on their chosen focus area. In this two-credit hour, pass/fail course (HBEH 610), students examine theories behind community service, coalition building, community asset development as well as specific needs and assets of the communities where they volunteer. This is a mandatory course meeting weekly for a total of two hours (one hour of lecture and one hour of recitation). View the upcoming syllabus for more information.

During the break, students apply what they are learning about the focus areas 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.

APPLES sponsors five ASB experiences on the following topics:
  • Latino Communities: Students explore issues affecting migrant workers and Latino communities in North Carolina including immigration policy, labor rights, farmworker conditions and access to healthcare.
  • Rural Communities: Students work with local organizations to gain a better understanding of education, health and infrastructure issues that affect a low-income rural community in North Carolina.
  • Urban Communities: 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 Communities, Latino Communities, Urban Communities, Civil Rights or Disaster Relief.

2016 Alternative Spring Break Timeline

October 6, 2015: Participant application opens
October 26, 2015: Participant application closes
October 31, 2015: Applicants notified about selection for interivews
November 2-5, 2015: Applicant interviews
November 9, 2015: Participants and alternates notified
January 11, 2016: ASB course and recitations begin
March 12-20, 2016: Spring break


Applications for the 2016 Alternative Spring Break will open in the fall 2015 semester.

Applications for break leader positions are available in the spring semester.