Alternative Service Experiences/Alternative Break

In the past 20 years the alternative break movement has grown extensively on colleges and universities throughout the state of North Carolina and the nation.  In June 2013, NC Campus Compact hosted an Alternative Service Experiences Institute, convening administrators, faculty, staff, and students, representing 25 campuses in 8 states, for two days to explore topics related to alternative breaks and short-term service experiences. The event was hosted by High Point University. Click here to dowload the Institute program booklet.

As a result of the Institute, participants requested that we create a resource page to provide ongoing support.  This is a work in progress.  Please send any tools/resources to Leslie Garvin for inclusion. 

Tools and Resources

Breakaway the Alternative Break Connection, Inc - is the national nonprofit organization that supports the development of quality alternative break programs by providing training and information primarily to colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations interested in creating lifelong active citizens through these intensive service-learning programs.

See results of Break Away's national survey of alternative break programs (2014).  

Guide to Planning an Alternative Break Trip (manual) - American University, Office of Campus Life Community Service Center

Global SL - A multi-institutional hub supporting ethical global learning and community-campus partnerships, is hosted in the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College.


Building Momentum in Student Engagement: Alternative Breaks and Students’ Social Justice and Diversity Orientation by Elizabeth Niehaus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Journal of College Student Development, Volume 58, Number 1, January 2017, pp. 53-70.)

Exploring Integrative Learning in Service-Based Alternative Breaks by Elizabeth Niehaus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Courtney Holder, University of Maryland–College, Mark Rivera, University of Maryland–College Park, Crystal E. Garcia, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Taylor C. Woodman, University of Maryland–College Park, Julie Dierberger, University of Nebraska at Omaha (The Journal of Higher Education (2017)

Building a Better World: The Pedagogy and Practice of Global Service-Learning  blog

"Alternative Break Programs: From Isolated Enthusiasm to Best Practices: The Haiti Compact" by Jill Piacitelli, Molly Barwick, Elizabeth Doerr, Melody Porter, Shoshanna Sumka (Journal of Higher Education Outreach & Engagement, Volume 17(2), May 2013).

"Alternative Break Programs and the Factors that Contribute to Changes in Students' Lives" - 2012 dissertation of Dr. Elizabeth Niehaus.  

The Meaning Students Make as Participants in Short-Term Immersion Programs, by Susan R. Jones, Heather T. Rowan-Kenyon, S. Mei-Yen Ireland, Elizabeth Niehaus, Kristan Cilente Skendall from the Journal of College Student Development, Volume 53, Number 2, (March/April 2012) pp. 201-220 | 10.1353/csd.2012.0026

Presentations from the 3rd Annual Conference on International Service Learning: Advancing Research and Practice in February 2008 sponsored by IUPUI 

"A Chameleon with a Complex: Searching for Transformation in International Service-Learning," by Richard Kiely, from the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, Volume 10, Issue 2, (Spring 2004)


Working Side by Side: Creating Alternative Breaks as Catalysts for Global Learning, Student Leadership, and Social Change (Stylus Publishing, 2015)

More Than Just a Trip: Reflections from Alternative Breaks (Carpe Diem Press, 2015)

International Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Research (IUPUI Series on Service Learning Research) [Paperback]  Edited by Robert G. Bringle, Julie A. Hatcher, Steven G. Jones (2010)

Funding Opportunities

Marshall Alternative Service Experiences Scholarship (open to students on North Carolina Campus Compact member campuses who attend the CSNAP student conference) 

Ethical Global Engagement Grants   (for people who plan to volunteer or intern with an Omprakash international partner) 

Organizations that Facilitate ASB Partnerships and Projects*

Cross-Cultural Solutions

Habitat for Humanity: Collegiate Challenge

Jewish National Fund


Projects Abroad

United Way Alternative Spring Break


*As some of these entities are for-profit, NC Campus Compact is in no way endorsing their services by including them in this list.