Volunteerism, Community Engagement & Commuter Services

Alternative Breaks

The mission of the alternative spring break program is to promote service on local, regional, national and international 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 spring break 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 to:The Carolina Tiger Rescue in North Carolina, Shands HealthCare Hospital in Gainsville, Florida Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service (MCCCS) in Washington, D.C. Give Kids the World Village and Camp Boggy Creek in Florida where students worked with severely ill children, Mason Neck State Park in Virginia, rebuilding trails, camp clean up and painting. The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration in Pensacola, Florida. Sociology and Engineering faculty members offered trips to Mississippi and Louisiana where students helped rebuild homes after Hurricane Katrina. And a civil and environmental engineering professor took students to Honduras as part of their volunteer work with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) to help improve the region’s water supply.

Fundraising and Program Fees
Participants who participate in domestic Alternative Spring Break trips sponsored through the Office for Service Learning and Volunteerism are usually required to pay for a portion of the trip costs. Depending on the trip, students may also be encouraged to organize several fundraising events.

Alternative Spring Break - Tiger Rescue Image removed by sender.ASB Movie.wmv

Image removed by sender.ASB Movie.wmv


Alternative SPRING Break 2017:



  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. See link for application: Application is due to the VCEVS Office by 4:00 pm on 10/7/16

ASB 2017 Participant Application

If you are interested in becoming a student leader for an alternative breaks trip?

Student Leaders needed:

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 break, and 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

  • 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.
  • See link for application. Due by 4:00 pm on 9/30/16

ASB 2017 Student Leader Application

Alternative Spring Break - March 2017

Trip Descriptions

Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, Florida

March 12th – 18th  Total Estimated Cost: $300 plus airfare (Deposit: $100)

Give Kids the World Village (www.givekidstheworld.org) is a nonprofit organization that fulfills the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses by providing them with a magical, joyful cost-free getaway. Volunteers help make the children's experience magical by helping with the entertainment, food service, and various projects that will put a smile on each and every child's face. Volunteers will have close interactions with the families and children to enrich their own experience in the village.

*An extra cost will be added to this trip for airfare*