Alternative Spring Break

Started in 2013 by School of Information Sciences faculty member Kim Schroeder, Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is a competitive program in which chosen applicants are paired with one of the country's premiere information organizations for an intensive week-long internship that aligns with the student's area of interest.

The internships are available to graduate certificate and degree seeking Archival Administration or Digital Content Management (DCM) students. The experiences, completed during Wayne State University's spring break each year in March, give participating students unique hands-on experience and have brought nationwide visibility to the School of Information Sciences.

The program aims to give students the opportunity to take their classroom theory into cultural institutions and develop essential skills related to the profession. Since the program's inception, participating students have worked at a variety of institutions both virtually and in person, including the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Freer Gallery and several presidential libraries throughout the country.

SIS student Leah Minadeo is pictured with short blonde hair in front of a black background.
"The most valuable part of my ASB experience was making connections and having the opportunity to ask professional archivists questions about personal and institutional practices." Leah Minadeo, ASB 2022 (The Henry Ford's Benson Ford Research Center, Dearborn, Michigan)

Learn more about the ASB experience from the students themselves. Click here to read submissions from the 2023 Alternative Spring Break class.

Application information:

Funding for ASB is only available to currently registered, degree-seeking SIS students. Travel support may be provided to selected students. Students will be expected to work 40 hours during spring break week and will receive payment as a WSU employee (hiring paperwork will be required).

This opportunity is available for graduate certificate and degree seeking students who are pursuing a graduate certificate in Archival Administration or an MLIS with a concentration on Digital Content Management. Students with at least two archival or DCM courses are preferred. Experience in the field is desirable, but not required. Please note that applying is not a guarantee of being awarded a project and not all projects may be assigned.

The available projects, submission requirements and application form for ASB 2024 can be found here. 

"This experience gave me a chance to put the concepts I have been learning throughout my time in the MLIS program into practice. It also helped me confirm that I have made the right decision regarding my chosen specialization." Amanda Kemp, ASB 2021 (Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Washington, D.C.)


SIS student Ashley Cabala is pictured in front of Wayne state's Reuther Library.
"When the week was over, I felt like I had learned so much. I would strongly encourage any archive student to participate in Alternative Spring Break."  Ashley Cabala, ASB 2020 (Walter P. Reuther Library, WSU, Detroit) 

To learn more about how you can participate as a student or host, please contact Kim Schroeder at