Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks

The mission of the Alternative Breaks program is to promote service on local, regional, and national levels through volunteer experiences that immerse students in different settings and cultures. Students visit communities where they perform short-term projects while learning about issues such as poverty, educational and cultural literacy, racism, hunger, the environment, homelessness, and health related issues. These educational experiences are designed to heighten social awareness and promote lifelong social action and community involvement.

Program Overview
Alternative Breaks trips are organized by the Office of Volunteerism, Community Engagement and Commuter Services (VCECS) as well as individual faculty members. When trips are run through the VCECS, students do not receive course credit. When faculty members organize trips, they are usually associated with a specific course, or students can sometimes receive general education credits.

Past trips have been: the Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, North Carolina; Shands HealthCare Hospital in Gainsville, Florida; the Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service (MCCCS) in Washington, D.C.; Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, Florida; Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration projects in Pensacola, Florida; and, urban agriculture & environmental projects with the Center for Environmental Transformation in Camden, New Jersey.


Positions Available


Participating in an AB trip is very rewarding; it also requires commitment and dedication from those involved. Participants are required to attend regular trip meetings, and service projects, where they will get to know their fellow trip members, become educated about their issue, and help plan their trip. After returning, they will also participate in post-trip meetings, and scheduled service projects. Participant Applications are available through the VCECS ProfLink page. 

Student Leaders

The Student Leader position is a time-intensive, demanding, and rewarding enterprise. Student Leaders prepare throughout the entire year in order to lead their trip over academic breaks. This leadership opportunity is certain to become a very personal and integral part of one's collegiate experience. Student Leaders are held to high standards, and we seek dedicated individuals who will delve into the social issues explored in their service. Dedicated students will emerge as well-rounded and educated leaders who are ready to take their community service experience to a new level and become active citizens.

The responsibilities of the Student Leaders prior to trip are:

  • Design a trip itinerary
  • Maintain contact with service sites
  • Educate participants and the public about their social issue
  • Plan a pre and post-trip service project in the local community
  • Attend weekly 1-on-1 planning meetings with the Office of Volunteerism
  • Work with participants to organize fundraisers throughout the year
  • Interview and select a Trip Advisor

The responsibilities for the Student Leader during the trip are:

  • Establish and support positive group dynamics
  • Daily organization of the volunteer team
  • Lead daily reflections
  • Address and deal with participant concerns
  • Manage the trip budget along with the chosen Trip Advisor
  • Work to ensure a meaningful experience for the entire Rowan team

Student Leader Applications are available through the VCECS ProfLink page.