The Eight Components of AB@UCSD serves as our "bread and butter". It gives AB@UCSD a foundation and structure to follow as we approach service-learning, volunteerism, and social justice education with a critical mindset and intentionality. All of our year-long service-learning experiences incorporates each of these components!
Strong Direct Service - Programs provide opportunities for participants to engage directly with community members through hands on projects and activities. Programs should develop projects informed by community-identified assets and needs and in conjunction with their community partner(s).
Education - Effective education provides a framework of intersecting perspectives developed to help participants understand the root causes and effects of social issues. Powerful education should also include information to connect participants’ personal life choices and experiences to the topic.
Orientation - Before, during, and after the alternative break experience, participants learn about the communities, organization(s), and projects with which they are working. This serves to align participants with the customs, practices, and goals of the community they are serving as well as with that of the nonprofit they are partnered with.
Training - Throughout the entire alternative break experience, participants are provided with adequate training necessary to carry out tasks and activities related to the service project. Ideally, participants gain life-long skills that provide them with opportunities to engage in their community upon return from the trip.
Reorientation - Upon return from the alternative break experience, individuals transfer lessons learned by engaging in continued education, service, advocacy, and/ or philanthropy. Participants join or organize small groups to take action around issues on campus, in their neighborhoods, within the local community, and more broadly.
Full Engagement - Alternative breaks provide participants with an opportunity to live in line with community, program, or trip-specific values. Programs should create opportunities for individuals to consider ways of aligning values and actions with regard to choices about the alternative break experience. Examples include: accommodations, food, team selection, technology, transportation, packing, and spending money. One clear example of Full Engagement is the Alcohol & Drug-Free component inherent within alternative breaks. Strong programs develop and communicate philosophies and corresponding practices around how participants will approach these topics during an alternative break.
Diversity & Inclusion - Alternative break programs include participants representing the range of students present in the campus community. Leaders recruit for, design, implement, and evaluate their program with this end in mind. Strong programs engage participants in dialogue that furthers understanding of how systems of power, privilege, and oppression relate to social issues and service work in communities. This deepened awareness enables students to do more responsible, sustainable, and impactful community work.
Reflection - Anytime participants engage in community work, they are strongly encouraged to reflect upon the experience - synthesizing service, education, and community immersion components. Time is set aside for this to take place individually and as a group and should occur both organically and through structured activities.
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