Alternative Breaks’ Impact

Going on an Alternative Break trip with Mizzou leads to all kinds of positive effects. MAB allows students to experience another part of the U.S. and immerses them into the issue that they select. Every year MAB participants in national studies or complete our own research. Alternative Break programs in general lead to positive gains on students such as higher voting rates and a greater desire to serve upon returning from their experiences (Raman, 2001). These programs not only have an impact on the students, but also on the community. In 2002 Dr. Pushkala Raman found that 100% of agencies that hosted alternative break students would host them again and that the agencies reported benefits from the work being done.

Alternative Break work is hard and sometimes you just need to take a break… in the middle of the floor.

We ask each student to complete a survey on their experiences after the trip and below are a few findings from 2015-2016.

Did they learn anything:

100% of students say they learned something from their interactions with the community
95% of students say they learned something from the host site (or housing) staff
98% of students say they learned something from the other students on the trip
– 50% said a “a great deal”

Connecting the experience to academics:

64% say these trips allowed them to see real-world application of their major
66% feel they were able to connect their trip directly to their coursework
– 5% feel the trip made their major seem pointless

Understanding of the world around them:

96% came to a greater understanding of the region they were working in
88% came to a greater understanding of the social issue they were working with

Effects of the trip:

98% say their trip has influenced their intentions to volunteer in the future
80% say their trip has influenced their career plans in some way
94% feel their trip allowed them to experience something totally new
50% are re-examining their beliefs about the root causes of the issue they observed
26% said their trip made them consider going into a National Service Program after college (Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, etc.)