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Alternative Spring Break Logo

11th Annual CSULB Alternative Spring Break

Application available in September

In the spring of 2006 inspired by the vision of students from the American Marketing Association, CSULB students, staff and faculty answered the call to assist with efforts to rebuild the thousands of houses in the Gulf region affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Now in its tenth year, the Alternative Spring Break team will travel to the New Orleans, LA area to continue in the rebuilding efforts.  Our trip will be hosted by Habitat for Humanity.  Since rebuilding efforts are ongoing, we may not know the specifics of our tasks until we arrive at the Habitat for Humanity volunteer distribution center.

We will depart the Beach for the Bayou on Sunday, March 27th and return on Saturday, April 2nd.  The cost to students selected to participate will be $275.  This will cover all necessary expenses (i.e. air and ground transportation, lodging, and most meals). 

Course Requirements

All students selected to participate in Alternative Spring Break 2016 will be required to enroll in the Service Learning class University 300I.

Course Description:

  • University 300I Special Topics: Politics of Disaster
  • Professor: Dr. Tim Caron: Monday/Wednesday 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

The course will examine one of the most important events of our lives: Hurricane Katrina and its impact upon the Gulf Coast and the rest of the nation, with a particular emphasis upon the city of New Orleans. Members of this learning community will acquire a complex understanding of Hurricane Katrina not just as a severe meteorological event but as an event with very real implications for what is arguably the most unique city in America.

Application Process

  1. Applications must be submitted no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, October 26th.  Click the "SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION NOW!" button to fill out your application.
  2. One RECOMMENDATION FORM completed by a CSULB faculty, staff, or administrator must be submitted no later than Midnight on Monday, October 26th. The Recommendation Form can be turned in to the Office of Student Life and Development, USU-215, faxed to (562) 985-5683, or emailed to

Minimum Application Process

  • Must be a regularly enrolled CSULB student (not solely enrolled in the College of Continuing and Professional).
  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Must not be on academic or judicial probation.
  • Overall, cumulative college GPA of 2.5 or above. If GPA is lower, email an explanation to
  • Priority is given to CSULB students with upper-class standing.

Students will be selected through a competitive process.  Priority consideration is given to graduating seniors. Those selected will be notified by November 2nd.  

Habitat for Humanity

The CSULB Alternative Spring Break 2015 program will work with Habitat for Humanity New Orleans. This provides opportunities for students to spend a week building a house in partnership with Habitat for Humanity affiliates.

7 Reasons YOU should participate in collegiate Challenge:

  1. Improve your leadership skills
  2. Develop and strengthen friendships
  3. See the impact your work is having in communities
  4. Learn more about poverty housing issues and how you can help
  5. Visit a new area of the country
  6. Affect a global cause by advocating on behalf of poverty housing issues
  7. Help provide a simple, decent affordable place to live for the people in need

What to Expect:

We will start each work day at 7:30AM. We will work until at least 3:00 PM each day. After the safety briefing, you will be assigned to a home/project for the day. You will be working with a Habitat for Humanity member throughout the day. Groups may be separated depending on the project needs at the time. The homes will be in a variety of building stages. Tasks or projects for the day may include: painting, roofing, floor systems, wall raising, siding, caulking, window treatments, among other things. If you have previous experience with a certain skill and wish to utilize it, please inform your Habitat supervisor. However, this does not insure that you will be doing a particular type of work. Volunteers are placed where they are most needed. We recognize that many of our volunteers may have little or no construction experience, and we hope to make this a learning experience for everyone. Experienced Habitat members will guide you in your daily tasks.

Where will we stay:

We will be housed at one of the many volunteer centers in New Orleans, a short distance from the French Quarters. Most meals will be eaten at the volunteer center. Hot breakfast and cold cereals are served in the mornings. You will pack your lunch in the morning to take to the work site. Dinner, New Orleans meals, following the work day will also take place at the volunteer center.  A vegetarian option is available each day.