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 2016:



  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-spring break meetings, and scheduled service projects. See link for application: Application is due to the VCEVS Office by 4:00 pm on 11/17/15

ASB 2016 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 10/6/15

ASB 2016 Leader Application


Alternative Spring Break - March 2016- there are two to chose from:

Trip Descriptions

1. The Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, North Carolina

March 13th – 19th  Total Estimated Cost: $250-$350 (Deposit: $150)

The Carolina Tiger Rescue is a nonprofit wildlife sanctuary whose mission is saving and protecting wild cats in captivity and in the wild. Volunteers from the Carolina Tiger Rescue trip will be working with the organization to improve the animal habitats and raise awareness. To learn more, visit: http://www.carolinatigerrescue.org/

2. Center For Environmental Transformation in Camden, New Jersey

March 14th – 18th  Total Estimated Cost: $100-$150 (Deposit: $50)

CFET directs its efforts to all people, particularly those who live in the neighborhood of Waterfront South and the City of Camden, NJ. They seek to educate people into a more environmentally responsible way of living on our planet. Equally important, they seek to engage in sustainable modes of food production, storm water management, and waste recycling for the benefit of the people of our neighborhood and the residents of the entire city. ASB volunteers will directly support environmental projects throughout the City of Camden for the week.

To learn more, visit: www.cfet.org