Alternative Breaks

Kent State University's Alternative Breaks expose students to social justice and cultural issues through direct service, community engagement, reflection, and a variety of cultural activities. These programs engage students in service, inform them about current social issues, and encourage their on-going involvement in social change.

Some of these experiences may be used to fulfill the Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR). Learn more about experiential learning and how it can bring your learning to life!

Financial assistance:

Career Exploration and Development and United Christian Ministries have made extra funding available for students wishing to participate in an Alternative Break experience. The number of awards is limited and will be available based on the deadlines and each funding source's specific criteria listed below. Alternative Breaks applicants can apply for this financial assistance on the Alternative Break application by checking a box when prompted.

Financial Assistance Application Deadlines:

Applications for financial assistance must be submitted by the following deadlines for priority consideration.

Alternative Fall Break: Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 20th, 2019. 
Alternative Winter Break: Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 29th, 2019.
Alternative Spring Break: Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 24th, 2020. 


Career Exploration and Development Financial Assistance Criteria:

  1. Demonstrate financial need, based on EFC and FAFSA
  2. Participate in a 2019-2020 Alternative Break experience
  3. Undergraduate, Kent Campus students only

Students may receive one award per term. If you have questions, contact Amanda Woodyard, Director, Community Engaged Learning at

United Christian Ministries (UCM) Financial Assistance Criteria:

This Alternative Breaks scholarship is open to all registered underrepresented students at Kent State who:

  1. Identify as a racial or ethnic minority (includes Latinx/Hispanic, Black/African American, Asian, Native American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and those people of two or more races), OR
  2. Identify with the LGBTQ+ community, OR
  3. Demonstrate critical financial need

A few other guidelines regarding the United Christian Ministries scholarship include:

  • Scholarship recipients must register for their trip and pay the initial deposit before applying
  • Successful applicants will commit to working the UCM Fundraising Dinner on Friday, October 18th or a Friday in March (TBD) OR by completing 10 hours of UCM service projects 
  • Scholarship recipients will write a letter of gratitude to UCM's financial sponsors prior to their trip
  • Scholarship recipients will agree to send UCM a 2 page photo journal/summary following the service trip
  • Priority consideration will be given to applicants who have never received a UCM scholarship 

cincy night

Alternative Fall Break

October 10-12, 2019

Understanding and Addressing Urban Poverty
Cincinnati, Ohio

Click here to learn more and register!

Registration Deadline: 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 30th




Photo of Flint, Michigan

Alternative Winter Break

January 9-11, 2020

Environmental Justice and the Flint Water Crisis
Flint, Michigan





alternative spring break

Alternative Spring Break

Week of March 21-29, 2020

Kent State University's Alternative Spring Break trips expose students to social justice and cultural issues through direct service, community visits, reflection, and a variety of cultural activities.

Our tentative Alternative Spring Break lineup for 2020 includes the following experiences*:

Environmental Conservation (Lake Mead, Nevada)
Cultivating a Community of Care for Foster Children (Atlanta, Georgia)
Poverty & Policy (Washington, DC)
Strengthening Ohio's Urban Communities (Youngstown, Ohio)
Protecting and Comforting Former Research Animals (Hartville, Wyoming)
May 1970: Exploring the Complexities and Connections of Two Campus Tragedies (Jackson, Mississippi)
Supporting the Unique Needs of Multi-Generational Communities (Detroit, Michigan)
Disaster Relief and Sustainability (Puerto Rico)

*=Our lineup may change due to unforeseen events. or logistical challenges.




University policy 3342-3-01.3 requires that students with disabilities be provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to services. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations, please contact Community Engaged Learning in a timely manner to make arrangements for the necessary service trip adjustments.


Community Engaged Learning welcomes the opportunity to help academic departments across campus plan and develop experiential learning trips for students and faculty. Please contact us at for more information.