Alternative Break Trip Leader Information, Application, & Interest Form
Thank you for your interest in being an Alternative Break (AB) leader!
All applications will be carefully reviewed by a selection committee comprised of professional faculty and students who are involved in the alternative break programs and applicants will be communicated with by the first week of November. Alternative Break leaders can take on various levels of responsibility; each trip will have two leaders.
Alternative Break programs are week long community-engaged learning experiences designed to heighten participants’ awareness of critical social issues, enhance their individual growth, and prepare them for social action. Each experience integrates service via direct community projects, reflection, and educational activities that focus on topics such as poverty, food insecurity, environmental restoration, education, and healthcare. Trips are offered throughout the year in regional destinations. Please review the Alternative Break program webpage as well as our three spring break programs and our zero week program to learn more trip details and about the program's guiding principles.
Please submit your completed application for full consideration no later than 5pm on Monday, October 30, 2017. We will be accepting applications on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.
Questions? Contact Erin McIlraith, Civic Engagement Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-737-6870.
Accommodations: If accommodations for disability are needed in order to participate in the trip, please contact Erin McIlraith at email@example.com or 541-737-6870, preferably one month in advance due to the immersive nature of the experience.
Benefits and gains of participating in an Alternative Break trip:
- Engage in meaningful service to impact change related to an issue one cares about
- Explore one’s values and beliefs regarding the ethics of service
- Learn about and reflect upon the complexity and interconnectedness of social issues and problems
- Improve leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking, and dialogue skills in dynamic real world contexts
- Learn about options for continuing community engagement upon your return to OSU
- Build meaningful relationships and a new community of civic-minded OSU students
- Travel to and learn about regional communities
- Learn about and explore new perspectives
- Develop skills in negotiating multiple perspectives, viewpoints, and stakeholders’ interests in decision making and actions
- Develop an increased capacity to work across differences to build communities
- Gain valuable experience for your resume and future professional or educational pursuits
- Learn about yourself, challenge yourself, and have fun!
Learning outcomes and goals for all trips fall into the following categories:
- Collaboration & Team Work
- Civic Engagement & Social Responsibility (knowledge, skills, values, efficacy, commitment)
- Critical & Systems Thinking
- Empathy & Respect for Diversity
- Social Justice & Global Perspectives
- Sense of Place
- Change Agent Skills
Trip Leader (and Participant) Expectations:
- Participate in ALL pre- and post-trip meetings (there will be 3 before and 1 after the trip) and all group educational and teambuilding activities to the best of one's ability.
- Support the mission of Alternative Break as a program that is focused on immersive community-engaged learning experiences centered on personal growth and leadership development through community projects, education sessions, reflection, and teambuilding; this experience is not a vacation or site seeing experience.
- Be open to processing (at your own comfort level) the Alternative Break experience individually and as a group through organized reflection, journaling, and other activities that suit your reflection preferences.
- Serve as a positive role model and representative of Oregon State University while on and off campus.
- Be respectful of diverse community and cultural norms and values (cultural humilty) that you may experience in community and/or with members of the Alternative Break team; expect to learn and be challenged.
- Commit to being an active contributor to your team and show respect for fellow team members, community partners, and populations with whom you are completing projects.
- Be willing to explore diverse perspectives, opinions and to advance cultural competency and sensitivity.
- Adhere to OSU Student Conduct Code on trip.
- Embrace experiences working independently as well as with a team or group.
- Be organized, self-motivated, adaptable, and flexible.
- Take responsibility for personal needs and wellbeing including communicating needs to trip leaders.
- Refrain from the use or possession of alcohol or any controlled substance/drugs for the duration of the experience.
- Sign an Alternative Break Learning agreement.
Alternative Break Trip Leader Role
Possible learning outcomes for Alternative Break interns and project credit students:
- Comprehend and learn about strategies and best practices for creating and leading co-curricular service trips that balance student learning and community benefits.
- Design and coordinate meaningful community service programs by applying the critical components of service, action continuum, and active citizen continuum.
- Develop curriculum development and meeting facilitation skills through pre-trip meeting curriculum and agenda creation to prepare participants for trip.
- Develop facilitation skills for group development, meetings, and reflections before, during, and after the trip.
- Gain leadership and group development skills in forming a cohesive and effective alternative break team.
- Explore and utilize theory and best practices for leading student groups in cultural and social justice learning experiences.
- Expand understanding of student development theory in practice as it realtes to student participation in civic engagement and service.
- Advance program management and risk management skills through managing site logistics and developing trip itinerary.
- Develop budget management skills through administering the trip budget through budget tracking and paperwork to ensure purchases adhere to OSU policy.
- Advance assessment and evaluation skills through developing learning outcomes for trip and assessment and evaluation tools.
- Track carbon footprint through provided resources and develop sustainability practices with participants.
- Increase understanding of the practical use of student development theories as they apply to community service programming and social responsibility development.
Trip Leader Role may include:
- Meet with Center for Civic Engagement staff bi-weekly or weekly from late fall to early spring term for check-ins and support in trip planning
- Attend AB leader training workshops to better prepare for the trip leader role (approximately four 1.5-2 hour trainings)
- Build community among team before, during, and after the trip
- Facilitate pre-trip meetings and post-trip reunion/reflection meeting to provide necessary orientation and context for successful trip (identity-based, social issue, and service-learning reflection and education)
- Plan daily reflection, dialogic, and/or processing activities for trip
- Lead or facilitate daily service projects and educational/reflective sessions
- Create and implement assessment and evaluation of the trip
- Drive the van on the trip
- Facilitate group decision making about logistics, meal times, sustainability practices, free time activities, etc.
- Take the lead in case of an emergency to ensure safety and wellbeing of participants to maximum extent possible (SLI staff will be on-call to support and provide counsel/advice as needed)
- Work collaboratively as a team member and with your co-lead; maintain consistent and clear communication with your co-lead
- Lead group through daily agenda and address issues and logistics concerns that may arise
- Take care of oneself and the well-being of team members
- Lead by example, be positive, have fun
- Host a post-trip gathering/reflective meeting
Becoming an Alternative Break trip leader is a significant responsibility. Before submitting this form, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you passionate about the social issue you plan to address?
- Are you highly organized?
- Do you feel comfortable leading others, sometimes in stressful and/or tense situations?
- Do you have the time to commit to preparing for and leading a trip?
- Are you capable of working or “being on” up to 12 hour days during the length of the trip?
- Do you have other significant, time-consuming responsibilities this winter/spring that could conflict with planning or leading a trip?
- Does your schedule allow for the required dates of the program?