Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Home > Promising Approaches in Higher Education > Alternative Spring Break at USM

Printer Friendly Version

Archived material. This page is no longer maintained.

Alternative Spring Break at USM

University of Southern Maine

Promising Approaches

  • (4) Encourage and support activities and student and community organizations that provide opportunities for students to be engaged in their campuses and communities.
  • (7) Encourage and support interactions across cultural differences.


Opportunity for students to travel to Florida during Spring Break and work with Habitat for Humanity affiliate in construction of housing for low-income families. Daily work at the construction site is enriched with reflection and discussion on the meaning of the work. The entire experience is substance-free, and students work during the months prior to prepare for the experience and to raise funds for their transportation to and from Florida.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define and understand personal values and beliefs
  • Learn to act ethically, reason morally, show integrity and respect
  • Show compassion and empathy towards others while listening to differing beliefs and values with an open mind
  • Identity community societal issues and create possible solutions
  • Develop a sense of civic duty, leadership and responsibility leading to service in the community
  • Understand political processes and power issues that may lead to oppression
  • Identify and develop life goals, personal interests, abilities
  • Identify opportunities obtained from experiential education for transition from school to work
  • Learn to maintain physical and psychological well-being
  • Practice sound principles of self care, identifying high risk behaviors such as alcohol and substance abuse, and learn to use healthy alternatives

Special Features

Civic Learning Goals

  • Civic Knowledge:.characteristics of effective, participating citizens; identity and description of the community served; identity, definition, description of local problems and their connection to state and national issues; ways an individual can help solve societal problems; community affairs, political issues, processes by which citizens effect change
  • Civic Skills:.process information for objectivity; apply information to efforts to solve social problems; assess context for personal action; work cooperatively and develop teambuilding; examine structural causes of social problems and seek solutions
  • Civic Attitudes/Dispositions:.understand diverse perspectives; respect what we have in common as Americans and as people; sense of personal efficacy; social trust; concern for the greater good; concerned for the rights and welfare of others; social responsibility

Contact Information

Tina Aldrich at USM

Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools: Education for Democracy