Alternative Spring Breaks

Spend a week in service, learn about a new issue and community, and meet new people through one of CCEL's March 2018 Alternative Spring Breaks! Alternative Breaks are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. A limited number of Site Leader positions, driver discounts, and partial scholarships are also available. For questions, contact Adrian Griffin.

alternative spring break options
Beyond Orange is the New Black: Mass Incarceration in the U.S. (Michigan)

The United States is the world's leading michiganbreakincarcerator. Through participating in education, direct service, and advocacy, students will have the opportunity to delve into the complexities of the U.S. justice system and explore alternative views of justice. The primary service project will be assisting with the Prison Creative Arts Project's Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the cities of Detroit, Ann Arbor, & Ypsilanti, Michigan.

  • Dates: Monday, March 12 to Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Program Fee: $350 (includes transportation, entertainment, lodging, and all but three meals)
  • More info: Additional details, photos, and a sample itinerary are available online.
Navigating Access, Integration, and Citizenship as New Americans (Columbus, Ohio) Columbusbreak

For thousands of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants settling in Ohio each year, the challenges of successful integration and pressures of assimilation create barriers to establishing healthy and thriving lives. Uprooted from their cultures and communities - either by choice or force - new Americans must navigate complicated processes as they add to the economic development and cultural richness of the area. The primary service activity will include practicing English-language conversation skills with adults who are refugees. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the city of Columbus, Ohio and its diverse neighborhoods.

  • Dates: Monday, March 12 to Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Program Fee: $350 (includes transportation, entertainment, lodging, and all but three meals)
  • More info: Additional details, photos, and a sample itinerary are available online.
Environmental Conservation and Restoration on Cumberland Island (Georgia) Cumberlandbreak

Students will serve with the National Park Service at Cumberland Island National Seashore on America's largest wilderness island, located off the coast of southern Georgia. The group will live on the island and learn about the unique ecosystem while participating in environmental conservation and restoration projects, such as trailwork and removal of invasive plant species.

  • Dates: Saturday, March 10 to Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Program Fee: $385 (includes ferry, park entrance, lodging, and all food while on the island); in addition, students are responsible for their own airfare and travel expenses to the group meeting point in Georgia (airport is Jacksonville, Florida). Students should not make any travel plans until they receive additional details as a break participant.
  • More info: Additional details are available on this web-page.

PARTICIPANT Application process

To officially become registered for a break, please complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the online application by Friday, December 1, 2017. However, spots will be filled on rolling basis.
  2. If selected, you will be asked to turn in by Friday, December 8, 2017 a non-refundable deposit of $200, which will be applied to the cost of your break. Payments can be made by cash or check (checks made payable to : Case Western Reserve University) and turned into the CCEL office – Tinkham Veale University Center, Suite 165.
    • Your remaining trip balance will be due to CCEL by Friday, January 19, 2018. Note: all payments are non-refundable.


Help strengthen CCEL's Alternative Break program by applying to be a Site Leader for one of our March 2018 breaks. Site Leaders will work in pairs alongside a CWRU staff learning partner to enhance the education, service, reflection, and group bonding experience for the break. Selected Site Leaders will earn a $150 stipend that will be automatically applied to the cost of the break. Review the Site Leader responsibilities, and apply online by Friday, December 1. Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.

alternative spring break scholarships available

A limited number of partial scholarships are available for each break for students with demonstrated financial need. Apply for a scholarship online by Friday, December 1 to be considered.

Accessibility: CCEL is committed to providing all students with opportunities to take full advantage of our programs. Our staff recognizes that students with documented disabilities may require reasonable accommodations in order to achieve this objective. If you are interested in taking part in a specific project but have questions related to accommodations and/or the accessibility of a site, please contact the office of Disability Resources in Educational Services for Students (216.368.5230 or, and they will work with a representative from our office to answer your questions.