The Rice University Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program enables Rice students to advance their understanding of one social issue; to engage communities on this issue through service, social justice, advocacy, and/or public policy; and to learn about the value of the reflection process and connecting with others on a deeper level. The success of each ASB trip depends upon the commitment and preparation of site leaders who are responsible for conceptualizing and implementing a high quality program for their peers.
Students who wish to lead an ASB apply in pairs. Every ASB trip starts with a pair of students identifying a social issue that they care about and demonstrating a strong motivation to lead their peers in acquiring a deeper understanding of that issue through pre-trip education and a dedicated week of service. Once accepted, site leaders begin a comprehensive, year-long development and training process (detailed in timeline below). Through this training program, site leaders will work with many people across the university and the community in order to plan a meaningful ASB experience for their peers.
Alternative Spring Break site leaders must be in good academic standing in order to participate in the program.
Each site leader is paid a stipend for research and program planning during the summer. Stipends start at $400.
Timeline of Commitments
Orientation Meeting: Monday, April 24th, 2023. Time: TBD.
May-August : Throughout the summer, site leaders will complete a research paper on their social issue topic with checkpoints and meetings with the ASB advisor along the way. Feedback meetings can be completed via Zoom. It is not necessary to be in Houston during the summer months, but site leaders must maintain effective working communication with co-leaders and advisor.
After the research paper is complete, site leaders will begin contacting potential community partners in locations supported by their research. In late July, the ASB advisor will host a webinar on community partner outreach to support site leaders in this next step. Ultimately, site-leading pairs will present up to two potential locations for their ASB trip as a result of their social issue and community partner research. At least one option must be within driving distance (no more than 14 hours) from Rice.
LEAD 215 : Fall semester 2-credit course required for all site leaders. This course meets on Friday afternoons 2:00-3:40pm and covers topics and skill building related to ethical civic engagement, leadership and facilitation, curriculum building, and more. Monthly advising meetings with CCL Staff supplement class to keep trip planning on track. The class is not designated time for working on trip planning with your co-leader, you should set up a weekly meeting time with your co-leader for trip planning and group meeting preparation.
Fall Retreat : Saturday, August 26, 2023. Time: TBD. The retreat is a day-long event of workshops and cohort bonding; full attendance is required.
Recruitment & Selection : September-October. Site leaders will work with the advisor and CCL Student Ambassador(s) to recruit and select students for their trip groups. Once groups are selected, site leaders begin facilitating weekly meetings to carry out their social issue education curriculum and trip preparation, including at least one instance of off-campus engagement with the issue in a Houston context.
All-ASB Kick-Off meeting : Date & time TBD.
LEAD 216 : Spring semester 1-credit course required for all site leaders. Continuation of 215, but geared more towards the students supporting each other through the project management phase of ASB: finalizing trip plans, facilitating group meetings, and preparing for post-trip engagement. Time: TBD. Periodic advising meetings with CCL Staff supplement class to ensure trip preparedness.
All-ASB Send-off meeting : Date & time TBD.
Spring Break Trips : March 9-17, 2024
Reorientation & Post-trip engagement : Post-trip there are 3-4 final classes with the site leader cohort and an All-ASB event to bring the groups together and learn from each other about their social issue foci and experiences. Site leaders will also be responsible for facilitating their own group-specific reorientation efforts (i.e. local service or engagement, post-trip reflection, etc.) through continued weekly meetings.
Click the following link to start your application: https://rice.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1899761