Wayne State University

Alternative Spring Break

The projects developed during the Alternative Spring Break give participating students unique hands-on experience and have brought nationwide visibility to SIS. Started in 2013 by SIS faculty member Kimberly Schroeder, the Alternative Spring Break program provides travel support to students to spend a weeklong internship in Washington, DC at the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration or at one of the presidential libraries around the nation. 28 student projects have been completed over the past four years – the program is a great resume enhancer as all students participating received job offers upon completing their degrees.

One form of professional growth is community engagement. The Alternative Spring Break, which started in 2013 is a community engagement activity modeled after science-based service disciplines like nursing, takes place in Washington, D.C. and at presidential libraries around the country. The goal is to give students a chance to take their classroom theory into cultural institutions.  As a service based discipline, it is critical that our students have the ability to conduct themselves in a professional manner and that working for a greater good is part of their ethos.  The 28 student projects over the last four years have assisted the Archives of American Art, the Freer Gallery, four Presidential Libraries, regional National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) offices, the main NARA headquarters and the Library of Congress. These organizations are very appreciative of the work generated by our students and comments in the surveys were one hundred percent positive. 

SIS funding for alternate spring break is only available to currently registered, degree-seeking SIS students.